Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Egypt: Two high-ranking officials charged with corruption

Egypt's former information minister Anas al-Fekky has been sentence to seven years in prison for misappropriation of public funds. The court sentenced al-Fekky on charges of deliberately misusing funds from state run radio and television union.

The former head of state TV, Osama el-Sheikh, was also sentence to five years on the same charges. The two officials, the latest to be sentenced, were found guilty of paying inflated prices for television soap operas.

Al-Fekky was a member of cabinet under former president Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in February after months of popular protests calling for his departure. Earlier this month, al-Fekky was cleared of separate corruption charges.

The uprising in Egypt was inspired by the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia. The unrest was further fuelled by the nation's disgruntlement about lack of political and social freedoms, poverty, dearth of employment opportunities and institutional corruption. The latter will be a test for the interim Egyptian authority, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

Along with his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, Mubarak is being charged with "premeditated murder" of protesters during the height of the unrest. The former president, who is thought to be unwell, denies the charges. If found guilty, however, he could face the death penalty. Mubarak and his family is also being questioned over charges of illegally profiting during his three decade reign.

Sources: BCC News, Reuters, AP

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

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