Former presidential chief of staff Azmy released pending retrial

Cairo Criminal Court ordered the release Wednesday of former Chief of Presidential Staff Zakariya Azmy, who was detained pending investigations.

The decision follows the Cassation Court's decision on 6 February to retry Azmy on illicit gains charges. Azmy had been sentenced on 27 May to seven years in prison on the charges.

Azmy’s defense team said he had spent more than 18 months in detention pending investigation and that he should be released, in accordance with the law, as the Cassation Court had ordered a retrial.

In a separate case, the Public Funds Prosecution decided Wednesday to interrogate Azmy for allegedly receiving gifts from state-run weekly newspaper Akhbar Al-Youm.

Prosecutors received four reports Tuesday from the Central Auditing Authority over gifts allegedly granted by Akhbar Al-Youm and Dar al-Tahrir to former President Hosni Mubarak, his family and 50 of his officials. Another report alleged that former Information Minister Anas al-Fiqqi gave LE4 million worth of gifts from the Egyptian Radio and Television Union.

Azmy's case is one of several investigations into gifts that state-owned press institutions allegedly gave to Mubarak officials.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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