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Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris handed three years prison sentence

Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris has been sentenced to three years in prison and fined 50 million pounds for failing to pay checks to the Egyptian Tax Authority,Reuters reported.

The verdict is preliminary and can be appealed.

Orascom Construction, owned by Sawiris, had reached an agreement with the Tax Authority last year to settle a tax dispute pertaining to its selling of its cement sector in 2007. The agreement obliged the company to pay 7.1 billion pounds in installments.

Orascom paid two installments worth 2.5 billion, and 900 million, but has failed to pay the rest of its installments since the army's ouster of Mohamed Morsi in July 3, 2013.

Orascom Construction has sold its cement sector to the giant French cement producer Lafarge for $12 billion. The deal was implemented through the Egyptian stock exchange, whose transactions were tax-exempt at the time.

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