Middle East

Former head of Egypt's Ezz Steel jailed, fined

In this Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 photo, foreign tourists visit the historical site of the Giza Pyramids, near Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

CAIRO: A Cairo court sentenced the former chairman of Ezz Steel to jail for seven years on graft charges on Thursday, the second such sentence handed to the businessman and ex-official in ousted leader Hosni Mubarak's party.

Ahmed Ezz, who was chairman of Mubarak's National Democratic Party and a hate figure for protesters seeking to end his rule, was also fined 19.3 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.2 billion), judge Makram Awad said.

Ezz was sentenced last year to 10 years in prison also on graft charges and fined, along with other former ministers and officials, an amount of 660 million pounds. He is already serving time on that conviction.

He quit the board of Ezz Steel and its Ezz Dekheila Steel unit last year and denied any wrongdoing. The two companies were not mentioned in Thursday's ruling.

Ezz Steel shares were down 2.3 percent at mid-morning, while the benchmark index was up 0.6 percent.

Several of Mubarak's senior ministers and aides have appeared in court and been jailed on corruption charges since he was overthrown in a popular uprising in February 2011.

Mubarak himself was sentenced to life in prison in June over the killing of protesters in the unrest.

An investigative committee formed by Egypt's newly elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi asked on Thursday to repeat the trials of Mubarak and some of his aides that took place before he took office on June 30, according to Egypt's news agency MENA. ($1 = 6.0950 Egyptian pounds)





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