Egypt’s former agriculture minister sentenced for graft

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.

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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