Ruling in ex-agriculture minister’s trial expected in May

Ismailia Criminal Court decided Wednesday to issue a ruling on 9 May in the case against former Agriculture Minister Amin Abaza and businessman Amr Mansy on charges of seizing state-owned land east of the Suez Canal.

The suspects arrived in court Wednesday amid tight security. The court heard the defense for Mansy, who said the Administrative Control Authority investigations and the Illicit Gains Authority report on the case were invalid.

The defense said the charges were trumped up and that all ongoing trials against former officials are merely intended to satisfy public opinion.

Abaza and Mansy, the chairman of Baraem Misr company, were referred for trial in August after authorities charged Abaza with facilitating Mansy’s acquisition of 10,105 feddans of state-owned land.

Mansy is charged with illegally seizing large plots of land in Sinai and Ismailia.

News reports allege Mansy wasted LE35 million in state funds to establish illusory projects.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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