Minister denies rumors of govt reconciliation with former regime

Minister of Foreign Trade and Industry Mahmoud Issa denied the government is mulling reconciliation with imprisoned and runaway members of the former regime amid talk of potential amnesty deals for those who relinquish their wealth.

Issa said reconciliation would require both political and popular backing and the government is not considering it.

The minister also denied on Thursday rumors about attempts to allow former Industry Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid to return from exile if he relinquishes his wealth.

Finance Minister Momtaz al-Saeed said last week that some former regime officials detained in Tora Prison offered to give up some of their wealth if the government drops corruption charges against them.

At a press conference last Tuesday after a ministerial meeting of the committee tasked with repatriating funds siphoned abroad, Saeed said the government was studying the offers, but did not disclose the names of the officials involved.

Last March, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported that prominent businessmen, including steel mogul Ahmed Ezz, Mounir Ghabbour, Hisham al-Hathek, Hussein Sajwani and Mohamed Abul-Enein offered to make financial reparations totaling some LE2.4 billion if the charges against them are dropped.

In the same month, former Justice Minister Mohamed Abdel Aziz al-Guindi said that the government was preparing legislation to allow the government to offer legal settlements to those implicated in corruption cases in exchange for the return of stolen funds.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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