Former PM, agriculture minister to be retried over land deal

The Court of Cassation canceled Wednesday a previous court ruling convicting a former prime minister and agriculture minister of squandering LE700 million in public funds.

The Giza Criminal Court had convicted former Prime Minister Atef Ebeid and former Agriculture Minister Youssef Wali of squandering the funds by selling the 36-acre Al-Bayadeya Island in Luxor for less than its value to business tycoon Hussein Salem.  

The Court of Cassation ordered a retrial for the defendants.

The Giza court in March had sentenced Ebeid and Wali to 10 years in prison. It also convicted Ahmed Abdel Fattah, Wali’s legal adviser, as well as businessman Hussein Salem and his son Khaled, to 15 years in prison.

Saeed Abdel Fattah, former director of the Agriculture Ministry’s state property, received a three-year prison sentence, while Mahmoud Abdel Barr, executive director of the General Authority for Agricultural Development, was acquitted.

They had been accused of selling the land to Crocodile Company for Tourism Projects, owned by Hussein Salem. His son Khaled worked as the company’s managing director.

Edited translation from MENA

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