Middle East

Egyptian steel tycoon jailed for profiteering

In this Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 file photo, former Egyptian Tourism Minister Zuheir Garana, right, and steel tycoon and prominent ruling party leader Ahmed Ezz, left, wearing white prison uniforms, sit in a metal cage as they appear in the Cairo Criminal Court in Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo, File)

CAIRO: An Egyptian court has convicted a Hosni Mubarak-era steel tycoon of profiteering and squandering public funds, and sentenced him to 37 years in prison.

The court Wednesday found Ahmed Ezz guilty of making illicit gains of $740 million in a number of illegal business deals involving his steel firm. The court said Ezz was aided by a former industry minister, who received a one year prison term, with a stay of sentence.

Ezz is already serving a combined 17 years in prison in separate cases of graft and money laundering. He was arrested days after Mubarak's regime was toppled in February 2011. A powerful regime insider, Ezz was a close associate of Mubarak's son, who was believed to be being groomed to succeed the longtime Egyptian leader.





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