Thursday, 9 June 2011

Egypt's former finance minister sentenced in absentia

The former finance minister Youssef Boutros Ghali has been sentenced in absentia to 30 years in jail on corruption charges and fined LE70 million — around US$11 million. In recent months he has been dividing his time between London and Lebanon, his wife's country of birth, and is on Interpol's wanted list.

He was convicted of squandering US$6 million in public funds and abuse of other funds that he had access to. He was also found guilty of using six luxury limousines for personal use which he took from the customs pound.

It is an extraordinary fall from grace for the man the foreign business and international financial community knew as YBG. They held him in the highest regard as a truly world class minister. He was happy to answer journalists' questions by SMS. He came from the most prominent Coptic political family in Egypt — his great grandfather had been prime minister under the British and his uncle a foreign minister of Egypt and UN secretary general. He was also chair of the IMF's policy advisory committee.

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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