Court orders former Shura Council speaker released

The Cairo Criminal Court on Wednesday ordered the release of former Shura Council Speaker Safwat al-Sherif from detention after accepting his request to reverse the decision imprisoning him for 15 days.

Sherif was jailed pending investigations into charges of graft, profiteering and squandering public money during his tenure as information minister under former President Hosni Mubarak. The charges stem from accusations that he abused his position to allocate commercial time on Nile TV International to a company allegedly owned by his son, Ashraf al-Sherif, and exempted him from some required fees

Sherif's defense lawyer presented documents that he said proved the allegations to be untrue.

The defense also said that the company in question is owned by businessman Ihab Talaat and that Sherif's son was not a partner in the company in 1995. The defense added that the company paid LE4 million in fees.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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