Egypt’s Court Acquits Mubarak-Era Business Tycoon

An Egyptian misdemeanor court on Sunday acquitted a business tycoon in a steel monopoly case, official news agency MENA reported.

Right after the acquittal, the Public Funds Prosecution decided to appeal the verdict, arguing that Ahmed Ezz, a well- known steel tycoon and leading member of the former ruling party under President Hosni Mubarak, monopolized steel production through buying out state-owned al-Dekheila and merging it with his own company.

He was charged with wasting state funds as investigations revealed that Ezz obtained personal gains of about 710 million U.S. dollars from 2001 to 2011 in this deal with the assistance of senior government officials.

Ezz, a close associate of Mubarak’s son Gamal Mubarak, was arrested late February 2011 following massive protests that toppled Mubarak’s regime.