Former officials repay millions in Al-Ahram gifts case

The state is collecting millions of pounds from Mubarak-era officials who have struck restitution deals to avoid prosecution.  

Former Chief of Staff Zakariya Azmy must return the equivalent of LE1.5 million he received from state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper in the form of gifts, the Public Funds Prosecution ordered.

Former Shura Council Speaker Safwat al-Sherif's lawyer also repaid LE250,000 Thursday to the state flagship paper to settle the case against his client.

Twenty-four of 26 defendants have filed for reconciliation and have returned the equivalent of about LE3 million they received in gifts during their tenure, according to a Public Funds Prosecution statement issued Thursday.

Former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, who is serving a life sentence for failing to prevent the deaths of revolution protesters, and former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali, who fled the country, have not joined the reconciliation agreements, the prosecution said. Adly owes LE1 million while Ghali would have to return LE1.5 million, according to the statement.

From 1984 to 2011, Al-Ahram gave public officials gifts worth more than LE100 million, including gold watches and pens, diamonds and jewelry, according to prosecution investigations.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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