The Cairo Criminal Court, headed by Abdel Tauwab Ibrahim Gadallah, acquitted on Thursday Hussein Salem in the retrial of his case of exporting gas to Israel.
Cairo’s Criminal Court had acquitted Salem in 2015, but the public prosecutors appealed the verdict.
Hussein Salem, the Spanish-Egyptian businessman, was an adviser to former president Hosni Mubarak and was accused of exporting gas to Israel for less than the global price in order to achieve personal benefits.
The Egyptian authorities had announced a reconciliation with Salem if he’s willing to give up 75% of his properties, which are worth a value exceeding EGP 5bn.
Salem is one of the most famous businessmen to have invested and participated in establishing Sharm El-Shiekh, one of the most important touristic cities in Egypt, back in 1982.
Before Mubarak decided to step down, Salem traveled to Spain, worrying that the government would accuse him in many corruption cases.
In the same year as the 25 January 2011 revolution, the government requested Spain to extradite Salem back to Egypt. Spain had arrested him and was ready to send him back; however, he was later released on bail for €27m and never extradited to Egypt.
In October 2011, the court sentenced him to seven years imprisonment for money laundering. The court also sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment in 2012 for exporting gas to Israel at cheap prices, as well as stealing areas of land.
In 2012, Spain’s Court of Appeal agreed to send Salem back to Egypt, but the Constitutional Court of Spain postponed the action again to decide if it violates his constitutional rights.
Then, in 2015, the court decided that Salem and another six defendants were to be acquitted in the case of exporting gas to Israel.