Egypt Independent

Court acquits ex-minster of tourism from Mubark era



Egypt’s Cairo Criminal Court has acquitted the ex-minister of tourism Zuhair Grana on Wednesday after he was sentenced to three years in prison in 2011 on charges of granting illegal licenses to tourism companies.

The court, headed by counselor Ahmed al-Shorbagy, heard Grana’s lawyer Mohammed Bahaa al-Din Abu Shoka ask for Grana’s release.

Public prosecution accused Grana of receiving illegal profits from his post and issuing licenses to fund tourist companies in violation to law.

Egypt’s Court of Cassation cleared Grana in 2017 from corruption charges, scraping an earlier ruling by a criminal court that sentenced him to five years in prison.

The Mubarak-era figure had been charged with profiteering and squandering public funds by facilitating the seizure of five million square meters of state-owned land in Ain Sokhna.

Garana also was accused of selling the land to construction tycoon Hesham al-Hazek in 2007 for US$1 per square meter – ten times less than the market price at the time.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm