CAIRO: The North Cairo Criminal Court, headed by Judge Mohamed Abdallah Khalaf, has adjourned the re-trial of the former Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy and five of his associates in the Egypt-Israel gas case to June 22 in order to implement the defense’s requests.
The defendants are accused of harming the interests of the country and squandering public funds by selling and exporting natural gas to Israel at below-market rates.
On March 25, the Court of Cassation ordered the retrial of former petroleum minister Sameh Fahmy in the Egypt-Israel gas case.
Egypt and Israel signed a deal in 2005 to provide Israel with natural gas. The deal built on the landmark 1979 peace accords. The public prosecution claimed the agreement lost Egypt over U.S. $714 million.
The deal was not welcomed by many Egyptians due to claims that Israel buys the gas at below-market rates, and was seen as an example of the corrupt deals made under former President Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian pipeline carrying natural gas to Israel across Sinai has been attacked several times since the start of the January 25 Revolution.
In April 2012, Egypt’s state-run gas company terminated a controversial natural gas deal with Israel.