Middle East

Egypt Mubarak-era ministers Adly and Nazif acquitted

Former Premier Ahmed Nazif (second on the right )leaves the Cairo courthouse after he was cleared (24 February 2015) Image copyright EPA
Image caption Ahmed Nazif (second right) faces no further charges after being cleared by the court

A court in Egypt has cleared former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly of corruption charges at a retrial.

The two men were accused of illegally profiteering from a deal with a German firm to import vehicle number plates.

They were given prison sentences after being found guilty at their original trial in 2011, following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.

But their convictions were overturned by an appeals court in 2013.

In recent months, a number of Mubarak-era officials have secured acquittals in court cases.

Anti-terrorism law

Mr Nazif and Mr Adly were charged by prosecutors in 2011 with misusing public funds and making unlawful gains of 92m Egyptian pounds ($12.1m; £7.8m) through the licence plate deal.

They were alleged to have awarded the contract to the German company without having issued a public tender, as required by law.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Habib al-Adly (left) has been cleared of many of the charges he faced after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak

Mr Adly was sentenced to five years in prison while Mr Nazif was given a one-year suspended sentence at their first trial.

It was not clear whether Mr Nazif faced other charges after being cleared at the retrial on Tuesday. The state-run newspaper al-Ahram said he did not, but in 2013 a court ordered that the former prime minister be retried on charges of illegally acquiring land and squandering public funds.

Mr Adly is currently standing trial on a separate corruption charge, but has been cleared of a string of other offences, including conspiracy to murder of hundreds of protesters in 2011.

Meanwhile, Egyptian activists who spearheaded the uprising against Mr Mubarak have complained that political dissent is being stifled.

One leading figure, Alaa Abdel Fattah, was jailed on Monday for violating a controversial law restricting protests that was introduced following the military's overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

On Tuesday, it was announced that President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi had approved a new anti-terrorism law that give the authorities the power to act against any individual or group who harm national unity or disrupt public order, an apparent reference to protesters.

Related Topics