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Egypt ex-minister jailed, three acquitted of fraud - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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CAIRO, (AFP) — An Egyptian former minister was sentenced in absentia to five years in jail and three others acquitted on Tuesday in corruption trials, a judicial official told AFP.

Shortly after the verdicts, public prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmud said the the general prosecution would file an appeal against the acquittals.

Rashid Mohammed Rashid, minister of foreign trade and industry under the regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, was sentenced in absentia to five years for squandering public funds.

Rashid, who is the subject of an international arrest notice, has already been sentenced to five years for embezzlement.

In a separate case, the court acquitted former information minister Anas al-Fiqqi and former finance minister Yussef Boutros Ghali, after they were accused of misuse of public funds during last year’s election.

Boutros, who is also abroad and the subject of an Interpol arrest notice, has already been sentenced in absentia to 30 years in prison in another corruption case.

Former housing minister Ahmed al-Maghrabi, who is currently in jail after being convicted of illegally acquiring public property and squandering public funds, was acquitted on Tuesday in a fraud case involving another property.

But the public prosecutor said the acquittals “do not correspond with evidence presented during the trials.”

Mahmud “ordered the prosecution to take all steps to appeal the decision,” his office said.

The trials come as part of a sweeping probe by the new military rulers into Mubarak-era fraud and abuse.

Uprooting corruption was and remains one of the central demands of the activists who pushed for Muarak’s departure.

But activists have criticised the rapid pace of the trials, calling for a thorough and open process for the sake of justice, not revenge.

Mubarak, along with his two sons Alaa and Gamal, is to face trial on August 3 on charges of corruption and ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising in January and February that toppled the veteran leader.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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