Egypt Steel Tycoon’s Tax Evasion Trial Adjourned to 2 Nov

Egypt’s Misdemeanor Tax Evasion Court delayed on Saturday the trial of Ahmed Ezz, once preeminent steel and iron tycoon and the former secretary for organizational affairs for the deposed National Democratic Party, to November 2nd.

Ezz is facing charges of evading taxes of about EGP 10,680,000.

Ezz was referred to the court after the investigations proved that his Al-Ezz Dekheila Steel Co. and Ezz Steel Holding achieved profits of EGP 42,800,000 and evaded to pay taxes of EGP 10,680,000 during the period from 2000 to 2010.

Ahmed Ezz is currently detained pending investigation of illegally seizing shares of Dekheila Steel Company.

Earlier on September 22, Cairo Criminal Court had ordered the release of Egyptian business tycoon Ahmed Ezz on bail worth EGP 100 million, yet Ezz was not released as he is facing retrials in other corruption cases, including the tax evasion case.

Ezz is being retried on charges of laundering EGP  6.4 billion in illegally acquired funds between 2003 and 2011 in deals related to his acquisition of Ezz El-Dekheila (EZDK) (IRAX) steel plant.

Ezz is the former chairman of Ezz Steel (ESRS) and has a 55 percent stake in EZDK, the largest steel complex in the Middle East. It was previously known as Alexandria National Iron and Steel Company (ANISC) before Ezz, then a mid-rank steel manufacturer, was called in to bail out the struggling publicly-owned company in 1999.

He was found guilty of the charges in October 2012 and was sentenced to seven years in prison as well as a fine of EGP 19.3 billion. However, the state’s Court of Cassation accepted his appeal in May, ordering a retrial.

In June, Egypt’s economic felonies court acquitted Ezz and two of his associates of separate charges of engaging in monopolistic practices in the Egyptian steel market.

The public funds prosecution had referred him to court in January, along with Ezz Steel managing director Alaa Abul-Kheir and sales manager Samir Noaman, on charges of violating Law 3 of 2005 on monopolistic practices.

In December 2012, Egypt’s Court of Cassation cancelled another 10-year sentence a court had given him on graft charges related to the illegal sale of steel licences.

Ezz was secretary-general of Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party prior to the 2011 revolution and was a close associate of the former president’s son Gamal Mubarak.

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