Court to issue verdict in TMG land case next month

Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court on Tuesday delayed ruling on a joint appeal filed by the Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) construction firm and the government-run New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) until 14 September in a case involving the sale of state-owned land for TMG's Madinaty luxury housing development.

In June, a lower court ruled that the NUCA, which functions under the auspices of the Housing Ministry, had broken the law when it sold the land directly to TMG instead of opening the sale up to bidding. The court further recommended that the contract be scrapped.

The NUCA and TMG subsequently filed two separate appeals against the ruling, which were merged into a single appeal on 1 August.

Egyptian businessman Hamdi al-Fakhrani has called for the cancellation of the contract, which, he said, had resulted in the loss of some LE147billion worth of state funds.

Meanwhile, the State Commissioners Authority has issued a non-binding opinion on the appeal, asserting the invalidity of the contract on the basis that it violated Egyptian laws governing tenders and auctions.

TMG owner Talaat Mustafa, along with former police officer Hossam al-Sokkary, are currently facing a retrial for the 2008 murder of Lebanese pop singer Suzanne Tamim in Dubai. Both defendants were earlier found guilty and sentenced to death for their roles in the crime, but the Egyptian Court of Cassation accepted their appeal last March and ordered a retrial.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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