Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt: 10-Year Prison Sentence For Atef Ebeid and Youssef Wali

Giza Criminal Court sentenced former PM Atef Ebeid, fomer Deputy PM and former Minister of Agriculture Youssef Wali to 10 years in prison after they were convicted in the case of selling "Al-Bayadeyah Island" natural reserve in Luxor, squandering more than 700 million pounds of public funds.

The court also decided to punish businessman Hussein Salem, chairman of Al-Temsah company for tourism projects, and his son, the company's managing director, with 15 years of imprisonment in absentia, the Middle East News Agency reported.

Salem, a close friend of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, is still in Spain where he fled after the fall of Mubarak's regime. He faces charges of corruption before Egyptian and Spanish courts.

The court also sentenced Ahmed Ali Abdel Fattah, former legal advisor of Wali, and Said Abdel Fattah, former director of the state property of theMinistry of Agriculture, to prison for three years.

The court acquitted Mahmoud Abdel Barr, executive director of the General Authority for Reconstruction and Agricultural Development, from all charges.

The court obliged all defendants except Abdel Barr to pay 796 million pounds as the value of squandered public funds from the sale of "Al-Bayadeyah Island" and fined them an equal amount.

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