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Businessman released after reaching settlement with state media

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Committee assigned to check Al-Ahram gifts since 1998

By Aya Nader

The Cairo Center Prosecutor’s office released a businessman Tuesday who had been sentenced to prison for issuing 49 bad checks to Al-Haram Foundation and Egyptian television.

The office dropped the charges against Ehab Talaat after he reached a financial settlement with Al-Ahram Foundation and Egyptian television, Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

The businessman will pay Al-Ahram EPG 61m in installments over six years.

Al-Ahram Newspaper Chairman Ahmed Al-Sayed Naggar said Talaat owes the foundation EGP 120m.

Talaat also agreed to make financial amends with Egyptian television.

The businessman arrived from London on Monday, immediately turning himself in at the Cairo Airport. Talaat, who was wanted for questioning for a number of cases, had a prior arrangement with security, and his lawyer was waiting with him at the airport.

Al-Ahram is facing a case filed by public funds prosecution, accusing former officials – including former president Hosni Mubarak, his wife, their two children and their wives, as well as former prime minister Ahmed Nazif and several cabinet members – of accepting gifts worth millions from Ahram chairmen between 1984 and the 25 January Revolution.

The judge Tuesday assigned a committee to check all the gifts officials have received since 1998.

 Tharwat Hammad, head of the Judicial Investigation Commission, issued a decree Monday to prevent 14 Al-Ahram employees from travelling because of their alleged involvement in corrupt practices.

Public prosecutors decided in February 2013 to unfreeze funds belonging to 13 former regime officials who allegedly received them as a gift from Al-Ahram newspaper.


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