CAIRO, April 25 (UPI) -- Six former Egyptian leaders, including a former petroleum minister, are charged with corruption related to a natural gas deal with Israel, a prosecutor said.
Egypt's former Minister of Petroleum Sameh Fahmi and five other former officials are charged with corruption and harming the public interest in a deal to sell Egyptian gas to Israel, Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reports.
The 2005 deal fixed the maximum price for gas for Israel at far less than global market conditions. The country's attorney general said the deal cost Egypt about $700 million in lost revenue, the report adds.
The deal helped increase economic pressure in Egypt and was a rallying cry for reformers since at least 2008. When natural gas prices increased across the board, the report notes, the price to Israel remained static.
The country's military authorities ordered natural gas shipments to Israel halted in February and called for revisions to any energy deals with Israel. The country's current petroleum minister, Abdullah Ghorab, said Cairo is trying to amend the deal currently.
Israel gets about 40 percent of its natural gas from Egypt.
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