Former housing minister to be retried in illegal land acquisition case

The Court of Cassation on Tuesday accepted a court appeal filed by former Housing Minister Ahmed al-Maghrabi against a ruling sentencing him to five years in prison and fining him LE72 million.

Maghrabi was indicted on charges of facilitating businessman Mounir Ghabbour's acquisition of 18 feddans in New Cairo.

He and Maghrabi were sentenced in May 2011. Ghabbour was given a suspended sentence of one year in prison.

The Public Funds Prosecution had charged Maghrabi with helping Sakkara Tourism Investment, a company owned by Ghabbour, to acquire the land at a price lower than the true value.

Investigators said that Maghrabi’s decision to approve legalizing the status of the land squandered state funds and shielded Ghabbour’s company from LE72 million in costs

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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