An Egyptian court on Tuesday declared invalid a government contract for a luxury housing project by the Talaat Mustafa Group (TMG). TMG is owned by business tycoon Hisham Talaat Mustafa, who is currently facing a death sentence for his alleged role in the 2008 murder of Lebanese pop singer Suzanne Tamim.
The contract for the Madinaty housing project was signed by the Housing Ministry’s New Urban Communities Authority and the Arab Company for Projects and Urban Development, the latter of which represents TMG.
Egyptian businessman Hamdi el-Fakhrani had filed a lawsuit requesting the contract’s cancellation on grounds that it had cost the state some LE147 billion in losses.
Additionally, the State Commissioners Authority had ruled that the contract violated laws regulating bids and tenders, noting that TMG had been granted 8000 acres of land in New Cairo in return for the allocation of 7 percent of the project’s housing units to the government.
Immediately after the verdict, Egypt’s stock exchange halted all trading on TMG and suspended all trade applications submitted before the ruling was announced.
TMG, for its part, issued a statement asserting its legal position and promised to meet all its obligations to project subscribers.
Mustafa, a ruling National Democratic Party MP, along with former police officer Mohsen el-Sokkary, were sentenced to death early this year for the murder of Tamim in Dubai. In March, however, the Court of Cassation accepted Mustafa’s appeal and ordered a retrial.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.