Show me the money: The many trials of Mubarak’s men

Four years after the January  25 revolution identified financial corruption as one of the main crimes of former President Hosni Mubarak’s government, all but one of the strongman’s corrupt “gang” are free. Most have been acquitted of charges of financial corruption, while a handful have fled abroad. The fate of billions of pounds continues to remain in limbo. Below, Mada Masr has brought together the main figures from Mubarak’s government and the cases that were filed against them in the wake of Egypt’s 2011 revolution. 


Overthrown President Hosni Mubarak

“Presidential palaces” case

Mubarak, his two sons Alaa and Gamal, and four other defendants were accused of embezzling LE125 million in state funds to pay for beautifying their private properties. Investigations revealed that Mubarak and his sons received a yearly LE50 million payment from the state budget under the heading “presidential palace repairs.” However, the money was actually spent on building villas for Mubarak’s two sons and on their private farms.

Verdict: Mubarak was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison with an LE120 million fine in May 2014. Mubarak refused to pay the fine, and his appeal before the Court of Cassation was accepted on January 13, 2015. On January 22, the court ordered the release of Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal.  

“Sharm el-Sheikh villas” case

Mubarak and his sons were accused of illegal possession of five villas in Sharm el-Sheikh worth an estimated LE39 million. The villas were obtained in exchange for granting fugitive businessman Hussein Salem 2 million square meters of land in Sinai.

Verdict: While the ruling judge insinuated that the defendants had engaged in illegal profiteering, all charges were dropped in November 2014 as the 10-year statute of limitations had expired. 

“Al-Ahram gifts” case

Mubarak was accused of illegally receiving expensive gifts from the state-owned media institution Al-Ahram, with a total value amounting to approximately LE18 million. The case implicated journalist Ibrahim Nafeh, head of Al-Ahram’s Board of Directors. 

Verdict: After reconciling with the state by repaying the value of the gifts he received,, Mubarak was acquitted in August 2013. 

”Israeli gas deal” case

The case implicates a number of infamous former regime figures, including Mubarak, his Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy and businessman Hussein Salem. The defendants were accused of squandering public funds and violating Egyptian laws by granting the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG) the right to sell Egyptian gas without first holding any bidding process. They also failed to include provisions in the gas deal with Israel to allow Egypt to change exported gas prices according to fluctuations in international market prices. 

The 15-year contract with Israel reportedly cost the Egyptian economy LE4.2 billion. Salem allegedly made LE2 billion in profit from the deal — at the time, he was a 70 percent owner of EMG.

Verdict: Mubarak and his co-defendants were acquitted on all charges related to the gas deal with Israel in November 2014. The prosecution can still challenge the acquittal.

Current status: In addition to dropping charges of conspiring to kill protesters during the first 18 days of the January 25 revolution, the courts accepted Mubarak’s appeal of his three-year prison sentence in the “presidential palaces” case on January 13, 2015. Though he’s technically a free man, the former president continues to reside in the Maadi Military Hospital, purportedly for security reasons.

Israeli gas deal


Alaa and Gamal Mubarak

“Insider trading” case

In May 2012, Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal as well as seven others — including the co-chief executives of EFG-Hermes Bank, Yasser el-Mallawany and Hassan Heikal — were accused of insider stock trading, squandering public money, harming the economy and destroying the country’s banking system. The defendants were charged with obtaining LE2.5 billion through corruption related to the sale of Al-Watany Bank in 2007. 

Verdict: The defendants are still facing trial before the Giza Criminal Court. The next hearing is scheduled for March 31, 2015. 

“Presidential palaces” case

See Mubarak’s “presidential palace” case. 

Verdict: Both Alaa and Gamal Mubarak were convicted of embezzlement in May 2014 and received four-year prison sentences. They appealed the court’s decision on January 13, and on January 22 the court ordered their release.  

“Sharm el-Sheikh villas” case

See Mubarak’s “Sharm el-Sheikh villas” case.

Verdict: Charges were dropped in November 2014 as the statute of limitations had expired. 

Current status: The two brothers became free men on January 22, 2015.


Hussein Salem, business tycoon

“Israeli gas deal” case

See Mubarak’s gas deal with Israel.

Verdict: Salem was acquitted of all charges.

“Selling electricity” case

Business tycoon and chairman of the Middle East Oil Refining Company (MEDOR) Hussein Salem, his son Khaled and his daughter Magda — who are also members of the MEDOR’s board of directors — were accused of unlawfully selling electricity to organizations other than the Egyptian Electricity Authority. Ten Alexandria Oil Company officials were also charged with approving contributions to MEDOR’s capital without taking necessary legal actions to notify the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI). 

Verdict: All the defendants were found guilty of breaking a law prohibiting Egyptians and foreign investors from selling electricity to entities other than the Egyptian Electricity Authority. 

Salem, his son and his daughter were sentenced in absentia to 10 years in a maximum-security prison. Four of the Alexandria Oil Company officials were sentenced to seven years in prison, while six others received one-year suspended sentences. All defendants were fined LE11.125 million. 

“Sharm el-Sheikh villas” case

See Mubarak’s “Sharm el-Sheikh villas” case.

Current status: Hussein Salem currently resides in Spain. In a recent statement, he offered to donate half of his fortune to the Tahya Masr charity fund founded by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in exchange for dropping all charges against him. 



Ahmed Ezz

Money laundering

Ezz was charged with laundering LE6.4 billion between 2003 and 2011 through deals related to the acquisition of Al-Ezz Dekhelia Steel Company (EZDK), formerly known as the Alexandria National Iron and Steel Company (ANISC). 

Verdict: Ezz was initially sentenced to seven years in prison and an LE19.3 billion fine in October 2012. He appealed the verdict and in September 2013, the court ruled to freeze his retrial until a verdict was issued in two related cases regarding the EZDK. A bail was set for his release at LE100 million, reportedly the highest bail ever set in Egyptian history. 

“Steel licenses” case

Alongside Amr Assal, the former chairperson of the Industrial Development Authority, and former Trade and Industry Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid, Ezz was charged with profiteering and squandering LE660 million in public funds by obtaining two free licenses to produce steel, in violation of a law mandating that such licenses be granted via a public bid. 

Verdict: Ezz was initially sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the ruling was overturned in December 2012. He now awaits a retrial. 

“Al-Ezz Dekhelia Steel Company” case

Ezz was accused of illegal acquisition of majority stakes in the state-run Alexandria National Iron and Steel Company (ANISC). 

Verdict: In March 2013, the Giza Criminal Court sentenced Ezz to 37 years in prison. The verdict was overturned on appeal on December 14, 2013. On March 10, 2014, the court ordered Ezz’ release on LE2 million bail, as he had exceeded the legal maximum two-year period for detention on remand. 

“Steel market monopoly” case

Ezz, Alaa Abouelkheir — the managing director of Ezz Steel — and sales manager Samir Nohman were accused of violating a 2005 law on monopolistic practices. The three reportedly forced distributors to use the maximum contractual monthly allocations of steel and sell only Ezz steel to buyers, or risk financial penalties

Verdict: The Economic Felonies Court acquitted all three defendants in June 2013. The prosecution presented new incriminating evidence and successful appealed the acquittal. On retrial, the defendants were found guilty, and Ezz and Abouelkheir were each fined LE100 million. The bail was lowered to LE10 million in September 2014.

Current status: Ezz walked free in August 2014 after paying the LE55 million bail ordered in the “money laundering” case. 


Mubarak-era Industry and Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid

“Illicit gains” case

Rachid and his daughter Alia were accused of taking part in financial crimes between October 2003 and February 2011. Rachid was charged with using his influence and position to generate illicit gains amounting to LE522 million. His daughter assisted him in transferring the funds to secret accounts in Cyprus.

Rachid used confidential insider information of initial public offerings (IPOs), as well as information about bank loans and finances, to generate personal profits from the EFG-Hermes Holding Company and increase his personal wealth.

Verdict: The two defendants were sentenced in absentia to 15 year in prison. 

“Steel licenses” case

The case implicated steel mogul Ahmed Ezz, former chairman of the Industrial Development Authority Amr Assal and Rachid. 

Rachid was accused of profiteering and seizing public funds by illegally granting Ezz two steel licenses. 

Verdict: In September 2011, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Ezz and Asal to 10 years in prison, and they were both fined LE660 million. The implicated steel companies were stripped of their licenses. Rachid was sentenced in absentia to 15 years behind bars and was fined LE1.4 billion, as well as ordered to refund the costs of the revoked steel licenses.

Ezz and Asal appealed the sentences and are currently being retried before the Cairo Criminal Court. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for March 3, 2015. However, as Rachid was sentenced in absentia, he didn’t have the right to appeal the verdict.


Rachid was charged with squandering and illegally seizing public money from a government export development fund. 

Verdict: In June 2011, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Rachid in absentia to 5 in prison, as well as an LE9.385 million fine.   

Current status: Rachid and his daughter are reportedly residing in Dubai. The Egyptian government has requested their extradition.



Mubarak-era Interior Minister Habib al-Adly

Graft and money laundering

Mubarak’s strongman Habib al-Adly was accused of making LE5 million from corrupt deals during his time in office.

Verdict: Adly was initially found guilty by the Giza Criminal Court in May 2011. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and an LE5 million fine, and Adly was also ordered to repay LE4.5 million to the state. In 2013, the Court of Cassation overturned the ruling.

After a retrial, in June 2014 the Cairo Criminal Court found Adly innocent of graft and money laundering. 

Illicit gains

The Illicit Gains Authority accused Adly of making LE181 million from illegal profiteering after finding a drastic discrepancy between his assets and his income. He was charged with exploiting his position to make illegal profits throughout the course of his career, between 1991 and 2011. 

Verdict: Adly is still on trial before the Cairo Criminal Court. The case was adjourned until February 7, as a technical committee completes a review of Adly’s assets.

“License plates” case

Adly was accused of squandering LE92 million in public funds by illegally granting a direct order to a contractor to make license plates. 

Verdict: In the first trial, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif to a year in prison — though his sentence was suspended — Adly to five years in prison and fugitive Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali to 10 years in absentia. 

Adly’s appeal was accepted by the Court of Cassation in February 2013. Adly and Nazif are both currently being retried. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for February 24, 2014 at the Cairo Criminal Courtl

Current status: Adly is serving his prison sentence at Cairo’s Tora Prison. 


Mubarak-era Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif

“License plates” case

See Adly’s “license plates” case.

Unjust enrichment

Nazif was charged with unlawful possession of property and making illegal profits from a public-interest company. He was accused of making US$10 million from corrupt dealings.

Verdict: Nazif was initially sentenced to three years in jail and fined LE9 million in September 2012, but the verdict was thrown out in June 2013 and a retrial was ordered. 

Current status: Nazif walked free after receiving a one-year suspended sentence in the “license plates” case. He is currently being retried on the same charges.



Mubarak-era Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali

Squandering and mismanaging public funds

Youssef Boutros-Ghali was accused of spending LE36 million from Finance Ministry funds that were allocated to strategic goods and services reserves. The money was spent on media coverage for the parliamentary and Shura Council elections. He also funded private media campaigns to promote the Mubarak administration’s political achievements from 1981 to 2010. 

Verdict: In June 2012, Boutros-Ghali received two 15-year sentences in absentia for squandering public funds and abuse of power. 

“Gas coupons” case

Boutros-Ghali was accused of squandering LE28 million in public funds that were reportedly spent printing coupons issued for subsidized cooking gas and gasoline. Investigations revealed irregularities in the contract with the British company selected to print the 45 million coupon books. 

Verdict: Boutros-Ghali was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia by the Cairo Criminal Court in April 2013. 

Current status: Boutros-Ghali sought refuge in Europe immediately after the outbreak of the 2011 uprising and currently resides in the United Kingdom. He made several public appearances in London, eliciting the outrage of activists and social media users. 

Boutros-Ghali was briefly apprehended by French authorities in Paris in April 2014, but because he was granted political asylum in the UK, he was released shortly thereafter at the request of the Interpol. He cannot be legally extradited to face political charges in Egypt. 


Former Housing Minister Ahmed al-Maghrabi

Maghrabi was accused of squandering LE25 million in public funds and seizing state lands, which he allocated to the Arab Group for Real Estate Investment at prices lower than quoted rates. 

Verdict: Maghrabi initially received a five-year prison sentence in May, 2012. On retrial, he was acquitted of all charges in April 2013. 

Current status: Maghrabi has been a free man since June 2013.


Mubarak-era Tourism Minister Zoheir Garana


Garana was accused of profiteering and squandering public funds through illegal allocation of state-owned lands in Ain Sokhna resorts to two businessmen through illegal direct order, and not via public bid. 

Verdict: Garana was acquitted of corruption charges in March 2013.

Squandering public money

Garana and Maghrabi were accused of squandering public money, profiteering and wilfully damaging public funds through illegal allocation of chalets and cabins in Alexandria to 12 Mubarak regime figures, including Zakaria Azmy.

Verdict: The two former ministers were released in June 2013 after paying LE2 million as compensation to the state. 

Current status: Garana walked free in June 2013.


Mubarak-era Information Minister Anas al-Fiqqi

Squandering public funds

Fiqqi was accused of waiving the fees required from private Egyptian satellite channels to air football matches for two consecutive seasons, adding up to LE12 million.

Verdict: Fiqqi was initially sentenced to seven years in prison, then was acquitted following an appeal in July 2013.

Illicit gains

Fiqqi was accused of unlawful gains worth LE33.4 million through misuse of his position. 

Verdict: Fiqqi received a one-year suspended sentence in February 2014, as well as a suspended LE1.8 million fine. The prosecution appealed the suspended sentence, and a retrial was ordered on January 11, 2015.

Current status: Fiqqi is still a free man as he awaits his retrial on charges of illicit gains.


Alexandria Library director Ismail Serageldin

“Alexandria Library” case

Serageldin is accused of squandering public funds through establishing shops and restaurants in the Alexandria Library and renting them at prices lower than the area’s average.

Verdict: The case is still ongoing before the Alexandria Misdemeanor Court. The next hearing is scheduled for January 26 to hear experts’ opinions on the case. 

Current status: Serageldin continues to hold the position of library director. 

Nadia Ahmed 

You have a right to access accurate information, be stimulated by innovative and nuanced reporting, and be moved by compelling storytelling.

Subscribe now to become part of the growing community of members who help us maintain our editorial independence.
Know more

Join us

Your support is the only way to ensure independent,
progressive journalism