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Sunday, 19 June 2022

Qalaa Holdings will fight to clear chairman Ahmed Heikal’s name

Qalaa Holdings has said it will appeal against a court ruling handed to its chairman Ahmed Heikal over USD 18 mn of bounced checks, the company said in a statement (pdf). Qalaa said the preliminary ruling over a commercial dispute was made in absentia without the knowledge of its representatives. The statement comes after local media reported that a Giza court had sentenced Heikal to several years in prison and an EGP 10k fine over the bounced checks.

It’s a not-uncommon feature of our legal landscape for verdicts to be handed down without the defendant even being notified that they’re taking place. Verdicts issued in absentia are automatically set aside when the defendant appears and the court then re-hears the case. Legal scholars and lawmakers have for years called for the provision to be scrapped, most recently during a 2018 debate about the overhaul of the penal code. Heikal last year settled a case involving a single USD 4 mn check, which saw him slapped with a travel ban as the result of a court ruling handed down to him in absentia.

In other Qalaa Holding news, the Transport Ministry has signed an MoU with Qalaa Holdings subsidiary National River Port Management Company (NRPMC) to help develop, operate, and manage two multi-purpose stations at the Dekheila and the Ain Sokhna ports, according to a ministry statement.

Other things we’re keeping an eye on this morning:

  • Cleopatra Hospitals Group began operations at its first robotic surgery center at the company’s Al Shorouk Hospital in Giza’s Mohandeseen. (Statement, pdf)
  • Passenger and cruise ships stopping at Mediterranean and Red Sea ports will get a 50% rebate on its transit fees. (Circular, pdf)
  • Al Nowais subsidiary AMEA Power expects to raise USD 1 bn in investments for its two Egyptian renewables projects by the end of the year and to finish construction within 18-24 months. (Bloomberg Asharq)
  • Pfizer will provide Egypt with the technology to produce vaccines that prevent pneumococcal infections. (Statement)
  • A Zamalek couple has been sentenced to five years in prison and fines of EGP 1 mn each after they were convicted of antiquities trafficking from their apartment, which prosecutors say contained almost 2k artifacts. (Masrawy)
  • Gamea talks RIZ: Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea discussed updates on the planned Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) with Russian counterpart Denis Manturov during her participation in SPIEF. (Statement).

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