Egyptian ex-minister convicted of corruption in Israeli gas deal
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Egyptian ex-minister convicted of corruption in Israeli gas deal

Court sentences former oil chief and another businessman to 15 years in prison for selling gas below world market value

Gas pipelines in Sinai have been sabotaged repeatedly by militant groups. (AP)
Gas pipelines in Sinai have been sabotaged repeatedly by militant groups. (AP)

CAIRO (AP) — A court sentenced Egypt’s former oil minister and a fugitive businessman who was close to ousted leader Hosni Mubarak to 15 years imprisonment after convicting them of corruption in a case involving natural gas exports to Israel.

Former oil minister Sameh Fahmy and businessman Hussein Salem were convicted of harming the country’s interests by exporting natural gas to Israel at prices below world market levels. Salem is on the run and was tried in absentia.

Thursday’s sentencing is the latest in a series of cases against former regime figures following Mubarak’s ouster on Feb. 11, 2011.

Mubarak was acquitted of a similar charge but was later sentenced to life in prison for failing to prevent protesters’ killings during the uprising.

Egypt and Israel are bound by a 1979 peace treaty.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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