Egyptian ex-minister jailed for 25 years

Cairo, April 24 (IANS/AKI) A court in Cairo has sentenced Egypt’s former minister of finance Youssef Boutros Ghali to 25 years in prison for squandering public funds.

The criminal court convicted Boutros Ghali in absentia of squandering some $4.1 million between 2009 and 2010, when he was minister.

Interpol has issued an international arrest warrant for Boutros Ghali, who is living in Britain, Al-Ahram Online reported.

Because he has been tried in absentia, he is allowed a retrial and all verdicts in cases against him can be overturned on his return.

Boutros Ghali personally allocated a contract to a British company to print coupons for cooking gas and gasoline instead of holding a tender offer as required under Egyptian law, the report said.

Boutros Ghali and his family’s assets have been frozen, the Illicit Gains Authority notified the country’s stock exchange last week.

In June 2011, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison in absentia after being convicted of squandering public funds and fined $3,500 in a separate case.

A nephew of former UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali, he served as finance minister under former president Hosni Mubarak from 2004 until February 2011 when he fled the country after Mubarak’s ouster.

–IANS/AKI

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