Egypt court acquits Mubarak-era housing minister Sulieman pending final verdict

Egypt’s Court of Cassation decided Wednesday to temporarily suspend a three-year jail sentence handed to Mubarak-era housing minister Ibrahim Suleiman over squandering public funds, pending final verdict next December.

The former minister is appealing the jail sentence he received in 2013 for selling public land to real-estate developer SODIC at below market prices.

Suleiman, who served as  minister of housing under Mubarak from 1993 to 2005, was found guilty of costing the treasury an estimated 1 billion Egyptian pounds and ordered to pay 970 million pounds in damages and fines back to the state.

His defence team pushed for voiding the sentence against their client, arguing the prosecution’s charges were faulty and witnesses’ testimonies wrongly attributed.

SODIC is a real-estate development company owned by fugitive businessman Magdy Rasekh, the father-in-law of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s son Alaa Mubarak.

In 2013, an appeals court lowered the initial five-year jail sentence Suleiman received in his first trial in March 2012 to three years.

Rasekh, who received a five year jail sentence in absentia in the same case as Suleiman, must turn himself in to authorities before requesting a retrial.

Source: Ahram Online

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