By Marina Makary
The Cairo Criminal Court postponed Tuesday the trial of Egyptian steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz and former Industrial Development Authority head, Amr Assal to 5 May, state media reported.
Ezz is charged with acquiring free, illegal licences for the operation of his steel factories with the help of Assal and Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamad Rachid. The licence acquisitions were in violation of laws which stipulate that licences must be granted through open bids.
The Court of Cassations had previously cancelled the ruling that was given by the Cairo Criminal Court to Ezz and Assal for a 10-year imprisonment period, along with 15 years in absentia for Rachid. The Court of Cassations also ordered their retrial.
Ezz, who was a prominent member of the now dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP), has long been accused of holding a monopoly on the steel market in Egypt. He was also accused of profiteering from public funds worth nearly EGP 5bn in an acquisition of the Alexandria National Iron and Steel Company (ANISC). The company was believed to be the largest steel company in the Middle East at the time.