Court postpones steel magnate’s money-laundering case to July

Cairo Criminal Court on Sunday adjourned the trial of steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz, the former secretary of organization for the now-dissolved National Democratic Party, to 2 July to hear testimonies in a money-laundering case.

Ezz faces charges of laundering around LE6.5 billion, which he is accused of gathering through profiteering and illegal means.

Investigations allege that Ezz made illicit gains amounting to more than LE4.8 billion between 2001 and 2011 when he was chairman of Ezz Dekheila Steel Company and other companies in the same industry, with the help of company officials.

Ezz allegedly worked to achieve the interest of his companies at the expense of the Ezz Dekheila Steel, in which the state is a stockholder, by canceling fines payable to the company to make personal gains for his own companies.

He also is accused of selling the company’s products to his own companies at prices lower than the cost of production, and reducing the value of the company’s capital by the same amount of money it owed to his companies.

Ezz was allowed out of the defendants' cage for 15 minutes to make his plea. He asked the court to hear the defense witnesses, but the presiding judge said Ezz’s lawyer, Farid al-Deeb, had said he did not need witnesses.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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