Court accepts former housing minister’s appeal

The Cassation Court accepted former Housing Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Suleiman’s appeal Thursday in a case regarding public expenditures but rejected his appeal of another conviction regarding a land deal.

The court will consider his appeal of a five-year prison sentence and fine he received in March for squandering public funds on behalf of SODIC, a construction company owned by Alaa Mubarak’s father-in-law Magdy Rasekh.

His lawyer based the appeal on lack of evidence and accused the court of contradicting the case documents, impeding Suleiman’s right to defense and misinterpreting the facts of the case. He also said the prosecution considered Suleiman an accomplice and not the real perpetrator of the crime.

Suleiman was also sentenced at that time to three years of hard labor and ordered to pay LE34 million in restitution and a fine of the same amount for illegally acquiring land in New Cairo

The court also accepted the appeals of Ezzat Abdel Raouf Abdel Qader, the former head of a ministry real estate department who was sentenced to one year of hard labor and a portion of an LE81 million fine, as well as former General Authority for Urban Communities officials Fouad Madbouly, Hassan Khaled Fadel and Mohamed Ahmed Abdel Dayem, who received one-year suspended sentences on similar charges.

In March, the Cairo Criminal Court convicted Suleiman, Rasekh, and businessmen Yahya al-Komy and Imad al-Hazeq of illegally seizing state land and squandering public funds.

The state-run MENA news agency reported that in the first case, the court sentenced Suleiman and Rasekh to five years of hard labor and ordered them to repay LE81 million, as well as an additional fine equal to the amount they owe. In addition to their suspended sentences, Komy and Hazeq were fined LE4 million and LE6.7 million, respectively.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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