Egypt’s former agriculture minister sentenced for graft

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Cairo, April 11 (IANS) Egyptian former Minister of Agriculture Salah Helal and his deputy were sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday in a corruption case.

Cairo criminal court found Helal and his deputy, Mohey al-Den sl-Saeed, guilty of bribery in return for granting land licences to prominent Egyptian businessman, Xinhua reported.

Helal was fined one million Egyptian pounds ($110,000), while his deputy was fined half a million.

The former minister was arrested in September after he resigned upon a request from President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi over corruption charges.

Egypt has taken deterrent measures to counter deeply-rooted corruption since Abdul Fattah al-Sisi sworn into office as president in June 2014.

The Berlin-based anti-corruption Transparency International Organisation said in its recent Corruption Perceptions Index that Egypt is one of the countries showing the strongest improvements.

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The report put the Middle Eastern country at 95 out of 175 countries surveyed by the organization. In 2013, Egypt ranked 114.

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