Ahmed Ezz’ retrial postponed to May, detention upheld

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The Cairo Criminal Court postponed Tuesday the trial of Mubarak-era business tycoon Ahmed Ezz to a session on 8 May in a case of corruption related to Ezz Steel.

According to state-media, Ezz requested reconciliation with the state’s committee to restore stolen funds formed in 2012 after the revolution, which toppled former president Hosni Mubarak and his allies.

The court further ordered that the detention of the defendants continue, rejecting lawyers’ requests for release.

Ezz, who was granted a release from prison in August 2014 after years of trial on corruption charges and illegal seizure of public funds, was arrested once more last month by court order, which also ordered the arrest of a co-defendant in the case, Amr Assal, former head of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA).

Previously in the case, Ezz was charged with acquiring free, illegal licences for the operation of his steel factories with the help of Assal and Minister of Industry and Trade Rachid Mohamed Rachid.

The Court of Cassation had previously annulled the ruling that was handed by the Cairo Criminal Court to Ezz and Assal and included a 10-year prison sentence, along with 15 years in absentia for Rachid.

Ezz was the secretary general, spokesperson, and leading figure in Mubarak’s now-dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP). He served as a member of parliament from 2005 to 2011, but was removed following the 25 January Revolution that saw Mubarak’s ouster.

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