The Court of Cassation reversed a Cairo Criminal Court ruling sentencing three former regime officials to prison in the “steel licenses” case, and ordered that they be retried before new judges.
Steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz, former organization secretary for the now disbanded National Democratic Party, and Amr Assal, former chairman of the Industrial Development Authority, had been sentenced to 10 years in prison, while former Trade and Industry Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid had been sentenced to 15 years in absentia. They were found guilty of profiteering and squandering LE660 million in public funds by obtaining two licenses for free to produce steel, violating a law stipulating that such licenses be granted through a public bid.
Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky said there was a plan to reconcile with some businessmen associated with the former regime to reevaluate how they had obtained their assets.
“This applies to Ezz as an ‘investor,’ not as a ‘politician,’” he said.