CAIRO, Apr 11 (Aswat Masriya) - An Egyptian court sentenced on Monday former agriculture minister Salah Helal to 10 years' imprisonment and fined him EGP 1 million in a case in which he is accused of bribery.
The verdict is subject to appeal before Egypt's highest court, the Court of Cassation.
Helal was arrested early September after he submitted his resignation to then-Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb, whose cabinet resigned days after Helal's arrest.
Helal's arrest came only six months after assuming his position as agriculture minister.
Egypt's prosecutor general Nabil Sadiq referred Helal to criminal court last October.
According to the referral order, Helal was accused of demanding bribes from businessman Ayman al-Gameel, who was one of the defendants in the case, in exchange for legalizing the acquisition of 2,500 acres of land in Wadi al-Natrun in Beheira province.
The bribes that Helal demanded were valued at more than EGP 11 million.
The court exempted businessman Gameel from punishment as he had admitted to the bribery.
Egypt ranked 88th out of 168 countries on Transparency International's 2015 corruption perceptions index which ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be.