Egyptian court upholds jail sentence, $7 million fine against business tycoon Nassef Sawiris

Published September 16th, 2014 - 02:52 GMT

An Egyptian misdemeanour appeals court has upheld a previous ruling sentencing construction tycoon Nassef Sawiris to three years of jail time and a LE50 million ($7 million) fine for failing to pay a settlement to Egypt's Tax Authority.

The original in-absentia ruling had been appealed in July, but Sawiris, former CEO of construction and fertilizer producer Orascom Construction Industries, failed to attend the appeals court session on Sunday. 

In March 2013, the Ministry of Finance under president Mohamed Morsi had accused OCI of tax evasion related to a 2007 $15 billion deal with French cement giant Lafarge, and demanded the company pay LE14.4 billion.

The two sides later reached an agreement that OCI pay $7.1 billion to the authorities, in several installments, until 2017.

In February of this year however, Egypt's Prosecutor General issued a decision acquitting OCI S.A.E. of any wrongdoing tax evasion charges, prompting the company to refrain from paying a LE900 million installment due last December.

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