An Egyptian criminal court dropped a lawsuit in which Ahmed Ezz, a business tycoon who was associated with ousted president Hosni Mubarak, was accused of money laundering and corruption.
The court lifted a travel ban and an asset freeze that were imposed on Ezz.
Prosecutors had charged the steel tycoon with embezzlement, illicit profits, and money laundering in 2011, in the wake of a popular uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak after his 30-year rule and put a number of his regime’s associates behind bars.
In September 2013, a Cairo court ordered the release of Ezz in a case in which he was sentenced to prison for embezzling 6.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.6 million) after he agreed to pay 100 million Egyptian pounds ($5.6 million) to Egyptian authorities. The case was not fully dismissed in September pending two other related cases in which a financial settlement was later reached.
This is yet another reconciliation agreement in a string of financial settlements reached with former Mubarak-era politicians and business tycoons after the 2013 military coup, which observers believe has overturned many of the 2011 revolution’s outcomes.
Ezz was the secretary-general of the once-ruling National Democratic Party, which was dissolved following the revolution. He was known for his wide influence within Mubarak’s regime, and he was the first official and businessman to get arrested and charged in the wake of the uprising.