Giza Criminal Court acquitted on Saturday former Minister of Tourism Zuhair Garranah and businessmen Hisham Al-Hazeq and Hussein Al-Sejwani from charges of facilitating the acquisition of 5 million square metres of land in Ain El Sokhna, reported state-owned Al-Ahram.
Garranah, former Housing Minister Ahmed Al-Maghrabi, and Head of the Executive Arm of the Tourism Development Authority Khalid Mohamed Makhlouf were acquitted of charges involving “squandering public funds” through selling land at less than market prices.
The Supreme Public Funds Prosecution referred Garranah for prosecution in March 2011 on charges of selling 5 million square metres of land in Ain El Sokhna for $1 per metre to Al-Hazeq’s company, Al-Naeem.
Al-Maghraby was referred to prosecution on charges of assisting Garranah in obtaining land in Hurghada for less than market rates.
Malek Adly, a lawyer at the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR), said that the court decision, like other trials of former regime figures, is “political”.
“The ECESR and other economic rights centers have stopped following these cases as lawyers predict the defendants will be acquitted for political reasons,” Adly added.