CAIRO – The Cairo criminal court acquitted on Thursday an Egyptian tycoon, now residing in Spain, who was accused of selling gas to Israel at prices below market value, which cost the state millions of dollars, a judicial source said.
The businessman, Hussein Salem, fled to Spain with his family after the ousting of the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, on Feb. 11, 2011, and settled in that country where he now holds Spanish nationality.
The magnate was tried in absentia in Egypt in the corruption case and was charged along with Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal, who allegedly received five villas as a bribe from the businessman.
Last August, the Egyptian ministry of justice reached an agreement with Salem to return part of the money allegedly obtained illegally during Mubarak’s presidency.
After reaching that agreement, the Egyptian prosecution asked Spain, Switzerland and Hong Kong to release the assets that the Egyptian tycoon and his family have in those countries and which had been frozen at the request of the Arab country.