Cairo Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali to 25 years in prison in absentia over charges of intentionally damaging LE20 million of public money, and forging official documentation in what came to be known in the media as the gas coupons case in relation to coupons used for the distribution of subsidised cooking gas.
Investigations showed that Boutros-Ghali claimed that he received several offers from specialised companies and picked what he claimed was the best offer, choosing to give the contract to 3m Egypt Trading Ltd.
According to investigations, Boutros-Ghali awarded the contract by direct order in violation of the law, making the deal before obtaining the approval of the prime minister even though he was officially notified that the technical/financial offer submitted by the National Defense Council was suitable.
The deal caused losses estimated at LE19.5 million, which is the differential between the offer by 3m Egypt Trading Ltd and the National Defense Council to print the gas coupons.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm