Ahmed Idris, the investigating judge appointed by the justice minister to review cases of former officials who had acquired state-owned land, has reached an agreement with the defendants after they agreed to give up the land in question in exchange for not being prosecuted, judicial sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that
The land deals encompass about 30,000 acres on the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road.
The defendants, who include former Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza, former Organizational Secretary of the National Democratic Party Ahmed Ezz and 30 members of the now-dissolved party, all offered to waive the rights to the land they had acquired.
Hany Abdel Aziz, former advisor to the housing minister, also offered to relinquish 200 acres worth LE1 billion. He is facing charges involving the alleged sale of a natural reserve to several businessmen.
Informed sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that dozens of similar cases would be subject to investigations in the coming days, and defendants are likely to give up the land in exchange for the cases being dropped.
Several of Mubarak-era figures have been accused of illegally acquiring state-owned land and some of them have been allowed to repay the state or return the assets in exchange for reconciliation.
Finance Minister Momtaz al-Saeed said in March that some former regime officials detained in Tora prison offered to do the same if corruption lawsuits against them are dropped.
State-owned newspaper Al-Ahram had reported that prominent businessmen, including Ezz, whose companies hold a near-monopoly on steel, Mounir Ghabbour, Hesham al-Hathek, Hussein Sajwany, and Mohamed Abul-Enein offered to make financial reparations totaling some LE2.4 billion, seeking acquittal.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm