A Cairo court gave on Wednesday former prime minister Ahmed Nazif a five-year prison sentence and an EGP 53.3m fine, in a corruption case dating to his tenure under ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
In addition to the fine, Nazif has been ordered to pay back EGP 48.6m to the Egyptian government for the charges of illegal profiteering in his official roles.
The Illicit Gains Authority originally referred Nazif to the criminal court in light of its investigations that found he had abused his authority in obtaining illegal gains of EGP 64m.
The punishments in Wednesday’s retrial are significantly more severe than in previous verdicts in the case. In September 2012, the court gave Nazif a three-year prison sentence and an EGP 4.5m fine. Also included in the charges were his wife Mona Abdel Fattah, and sons Sharif and Khalid. It is understood that Nazif can appeal Wednesday’s verdict.
Nazif is accused of using his power to illicitly gain EGP 64m in assets, including shares in telecommunications firms. He was also accused of illicitly using an apartment in the San Stefano towers, through which he ran a ‘private university’ that purported to be for public benefit, and procured government funds and private donations to the tune of EGP 25m.
Nazif became prime minister in 2004, and was dismissed in late January 2011 by former president Mubarak, who made the move in an attempt to calm the 25 January Revolution. Nazif was replaced by Ahmed Shafiq, but the move failed to sway the momentum of the revolution.
Corruption reached alarming levels preceding the 25 January Revolution, with many officials using their power to advance their own interests. Afterwards, many figures of the former regime were put on trial, including Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa.
However, recently many Mubarak-era figures accused of corruption have been acquitted of their charges. Mubarak and his sons, former interior minister Habib Al-Adly, and former minister of petroleum Sameh Fahmi, have all had cases of large-scale corruption against them overturned.