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.