Friday, 6 May 2011
Egypt: Former interior minister Habib Al-Adly sentenced to 12 years in prison
Al-Adly is the first senior official from the regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak to be tried. He pleaded not guilty to charges of money-laundering and illicitly enriching himself while in office, but was convicted of both.
Al-Adly ran Mubarak's security services for more than a decade and was despised for abuses committed by his security agents, according to AFP. Under his rule, torture was routine and police officers were seldom tried for abuses of power.
Mubarak was forced to resign from power in February after 18 days of demonstrations. Al-Adly's police forces were a particular target for demonstrators during the first days of the protests, a sign of how they were perceived by the populace.
The charges that Al-Adly were convicted of related to the sale of land, which he owned, but tasked the police with finding a buyer for. He was given seven years for profiteering and five years for money-laundering. He was also fined 15 million Egyptian pounds (US$2 million).
He also faces a second trial on charges of ordering police to shoot protestors, and a third over a deal with a German firm to supply Egypt with licence plates at inflated prices.
Former president Mubarak is also under investigation for corruption and for involvement in the killing of anti-regime protestors. Both al-Adly and Mubarak could face the death penalty if convicted of the latter charge.
An official inquiry into deaths during the revolt of January and February found that at least 846 civilians were killed. Most of them were shot in the head and chest, indicating the use of snipers.
Much of the former regime's leadership are now behind bars, most of them on suspicion or charges of corruption. Mubarak's two sons Gamal and Alaa are currently in prison, while Mubarak is being detained in a hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh, after allegedly suffering a heart attack.
Sources: AFP, BBC News
For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.