Trial of former housing minister and his business partner postponed

The Cairo Criminal Court decided Thursday to postpone the trial of former Housing Minister Ahmed al-Maghrabi and fugitive businessman Akram Adada, son-in-law of former Parliament Speaker Fathi Sorour to 22 September. They are both accused of squandering public funds and seizing state land worth LE24 million. The prosecution demanded the most severe sentence for the two defendants.

The prosecution said Maghrabi, the first defendant in the case, appropriated a plot of land in violation of the statutes of the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) and for under-market prices.

"Maghrabi has lied, saying that no appropriation decrees were issued during his time as minister, while he personally issued decisions to seize state land in many cases," the prosecution said.

The prosecution alleges that the defendant violated the law by appropriating five acres of land in the new investors’ area in New Cairo, while NUCA's law that stipulates that the area was reserved for companies.

Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Maghrabi earlier this month to five years in jail. The same court sentenced businessman Mounir Ghabbour to three years in jail. They were both ordered to return LE72 million to the state and Maghrabi was fined the same for profiteering and facilitating Ghabbour’s seizure of 18 acres of state land.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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