The Court of Cassation decided on Saturday to overturn a 37-year sentence for former National Democratic Party (NDP) leader and business tycoon Ahmed Ezz.
Ezz was handed the 37-year sentence in March having been found guilty of profiteering and squandering public funds to the amount of EGP 5bn. The court ordered a retrial of his case following an appeal by Ezz and his co-defendants, with the defence claiming it has new evidence, according to state run news agency MENA.
The case related to Ezz’s take-over of the state-run Alexandria National Iron and Steel Company, which he renamed Al Ezz Dekheila Steel Company.
Ezz was a prominent figure in former president Hosni Mubarak’s now defunct NDP. He was also one of the closest allies of Mubarak’s son, Gamal, and the two were viewed as the defining figures of the “new guard” within the party.
Despite his advocacy for free market policies, Ezz, who was also a member of the lower house of parliament, the People’s Assembly, has long been accused of holding a monopoly on the steel market in Egypt.