Former agriculture minister to face criminal trial

A judge referred former Agriculture Minister Amin Abaza to criminal court Thursday on charges of seizing state-owned lands and squandering public funds.

The referral was made by Ahmed Irdis, the judge supervising corruption investigations regarding the Ministry of Agriculture.

The decision also includes businessman Amr Mansy, CEO of Baraem Misr, an agricultural services company.

Both defendants have been remanded to custody pending investigations.

Mansy faces accusations he allegedly seized large tracts of land in Sinai and Ismailia.

Press reports accuse Mansy of gaining nearly LE35 million through fake projects he allegedly launched and through the seizure of state land.  Businessman Mohamed Abul Enein is also implicated in the case.

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