Egypt offers reconciliation with those accused in graft cases

Tuesday 13-10-2015 12:12 PM
Egypt offers reconciliation with those accused in graft cases

An employee counts money at a bank in Cairo September 4, 2014. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih


CAIRO, Oct 13 (Aswat Masriya) - Egyptian Justice Minister Ahmed El-Zend has called on defendants in illicit gains cases to seek reconciliation with the government in exchange for paying back illegally acquired funds, according to a statement issued Monday. 

In July the president amended the graft law to allow defendants in such cases to avoid jail time through financial reconciliations with the government in order to recover much-needed state funds. 

The law stipulates that the defendants file their reconciliation request during the investigation before they go to court. If they go on trial they will be obliged to pay a fine equivalent to the value of the illicit gain they had accumulated.

The amendment was put into effect in August 21, according to Adel al-Saeed, assistant justice minister.

Al-Saeed said that the objective of the legal change was to give defendants an incentive to return state funds.

Egyptian courts have already reviewed a number of illicit gain and graft cases in which prominent figures from the Mubarak era have been implicated.

Initiating such reconciliations will guarantee by law that the court will drop the criminal cases, thus ending asset freezes and travel bans taken as precuationary measures against defendants in these cases. 

The amendments cover crimes of misappropriation of public funds, money laundering and graft.

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