Mubarak's lawyer to head Ahmed Ezz's defense team
By-Almasry Alyoum | 5 March 2012
Cairo Criminal Court adjourned to 1 April the third session of the trial of Ahmed Ezz, the country's top steel magnate, state news agency MENA reported on Saturday.
In Saturday’s session prominent lawyer Farid al-Deeb, who represents ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, told the court that he will head Ezz's defense team.
Ezz, associated with Mubarak's regime, is charged with laundering LE6.429 billion.
Mohamed Hamouda, former head of Ezz's team, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he has decided to withdraw from all public opinion cases and those having a political background until the revolutionary atmosphere which has affected the judiciary calms down.
He added that he trusted Deeb to replace him in Ezz's case.
Hamouda said he withdrew so as not to engage in controversy with the judiciary at this sensitive stage, especially after the case of the "Bayadiya land."
On Thursday, the Giza Criminal Court on Thursday sentenced former Prime Minister Atef Ebeid and former Agriculture Minister Youssef Wali to 10 years in prison for selling the protected nature reserve of Bayadiya Island in Luxor, thereby squandering more than LE700 million of public funds.
Hamouda didn’t elaborate on his evaluation of the sentence.
The general prosecutor referred Ezz to the criminal prosecution based on the investigations of the Supreme State Security, headed by Judge Hisham Badawy, who said Ezz intentionally squandered public money and illicitly gained huge profits, with the help of some former Dekheila Company officials.
The total funds Ezz gained illegally were reportedly LE4,821,815,338 from 2001 until 2011, when he was chairman of the board of directors of the state-owned Dekheila Company.
In September an Egyptian court sentenced Ezz, who was a senior member of Mubarak's National Democratic Party, to 10 years and fined him LE660 million.
Former minister of foreign trade Rachid Mohammed Rachid was sentenced in absentia to 15 years — the third verdict against him since Egypt's military rulers began investigating corruption after the fall of the Mubarak regime.
Several former members government officials and Mubarak cronies have been convicted of corruption, including Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, Finance Minister Yussef Boutros Ghali and Housing Minister Ahmad al-Maghrabi.