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Egypt's graft prisoners offer assets for reconciliation: Finance minister

By-Ahram | 14 March 2012

 Prominent Egyptian businessmen jailed on corruption charges are offering to hand back assets in a bid to reconcile with the government, the country's finance minister Momtaz El-Saeed has said, according to Ahram's Arabic-language portal.

Among the prisoners are Ahmed Ezz, steel magnate and former chief whip of ousted president's Hosni Mubarak's now-defunct ‎National Democratic Party, and Ahmed El-Maghrabi, a former ‎housing minister, according to Al-Saeed.
 
In May 2011, El-Maghrabi was sentenced to five years' imprisonment and fined for his part in an illegal land deal.‎
 
El-Maghrabi was found guilty of arranging the illegal sale of land to businessman Mounir Ghabbour, ‎who received a one-year suspended sentence. Both were found guilty of wasting public funds and were ordered to return a total of LE72 million ($12.6 million) to the state. They were together fined ‎a further LE72 million.‎
 
In September, Ezz was sentenced to 10 years in prison on graft ‎charges related to the illegal sale of steel licenses.‎
 
El-Saeed's statements came after his meeting with Prime Minister Kamal El-‎Ganzouri in which they discusses retrieving Egypt's 'fugitive' funds -- government money allegedly spirited out of Egypt during the uprising. These funds may be worth LE5 trillion ($165.7 billion), he said. 
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