CAIRO: Cairo Court of Misdemeanors referred well-known businessman Ahmed Ezz’s taxes case to the Court of First Instance, his defense lawyer Mohamed Tanweer declared to the press on Saturday.
“The court’s decision means that the case will be looked into all over again,” Tanweer, who is also the legal advisor of Ezz Steel Group, told Youm7 following the verdict.
Ezz is accused of tax evasion estimated at 10.68 million EGP ($1.53 million.) There have been conflicts over which judicial body should be examining the case. Meanwhile, the case is still under the investigation of the Tax Authority which must have its say before judges, according to Tanweer.
Last Monday, there was a public discontent over a court decision to accept the release of Ezz on a bail of 2 million EGP. In a second case, Ezz and six other defendants including the former Minister of Industry Ibrahim Mohamadein, are facing charges of illegally seizing shares of the Ezz Dekheila Company, wasting public funds and using their positions to obtain illegal profits estimated at 687.4 million EGP between 1999 and 2001.
“Two news [facts]: Ahmed Ezz released and Douma, Maher and Adel were assaulted in court. Full stop,” read a tweet by April 6 Youth Movement on March 10, in reference to the three activists who have been jailed since last November and are subject to police beating and torture.
Nonetheless, Giza prosecution appealed the court’s verdict to allow the release of Ezz. On the other hand, his lawyers and supporters have condemned his detention, which they consider illegitimate.
“Three years and a half have passed since the arrest of Ezz and we’re still waiting for his release, which is illegal because he has been imprisoned longer than the detention of suspects allows,” stated a Facebook page supporting Ezz and following up on his trial on February 11.
Additional reporting by Ehab el-Mohandes.