Egypt ex-minister jailed 15 years over Israel gas deal

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CAIRO - A criminal court on Thursday jailed for 15 years each a former Mubarak-era cabinet minister and a businessman for selling Israel natural gas below market value, a judicial source said.
"The Cairo criminal court sentenced former oil minister Sameh Fahi and fugitive businessman Hussein Salem to 15 years in prison each over the (Israel) gas deal," the source said.
The military rulers who took over power in Egypt after veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak was ousted by massive streets protests in February 2011 launched sweeping probe into corruption.
In April Egypt's new rulers cancelled a gas export accord signed with Israel in 2005 but said they would be ready to negotiate a new agreement.
The sale of gas to Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, has always been controversial in the Arab world's most populous country.