Israeli Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth has reported that Karmen Weinstein, leader of Egypt’s modest Jewish community, fled the country after being convicted of fraud in her dealings with Egyptian businessman Nabil Bashai.
According to the paper, Weinstein was sentenced to three years in prison and given a LE10,000 fine, in addition to being ordered to pay LE40,000 in compensation to Bashai.
The paper went on to report that Egyptian police had said Weinstein had “disappeared” and that her whereabouts remained unknown.
The paper also quoted a neighbor of Weinstein’s as saying that the Egyptian-Jewish leader had fled the country upon hearing the sentence.
Secretary-General of Egypt’s Jewish Community Raouf Fouad Tawfiq, however, denied that Weinstein had fled Egypt, maintaining instead that she had traveled to the US “under normal circumstances” and intended to return at an unspecified date. He added that Weinstein had departed Egypt before the sentence had been issued.
According to Yedioth Ahronoth, however, Weinstein may have fled Egypt before authorities were able to update the list of persons banned from exiting the country.
Sources close to Weinstein told Al-Masry Al-Youm that she was continuing to follow the affairs of Egypt’s Jewish community via telephone. They added that Weinstein was currently spending her annual summer vacation in Switzerland and Spain, noting that she had planned her vacation two months before the sentence was announced.
The same sources denied that Weinstein had fled Egypt, stressing that she was Egyptian “to her bones.”
Translated from the Arabic Edition.