Monday, 28 May 2012

Former Mubarak aide jailed for corruption

On Sunday 27 May, a criminal court convicted one of former president Hosni Mubarak's aides of corruption, fining Zakaria Azmi £3.8million and sentencing him to seven years in prison.

Azmi was Mubarak's chief of staff. Mubarak, who spent 29 years in power, was rarely seen in public without him. Azmi was also a lawmaker and a senior member of Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).

Azmi, who is in his 70s, reportedly supported Mubarak's wish to eventually hand over-power to his youngest son Gamal.

According to Egypt's Middle East News Agency, the Cairo court established that Azmi used his position to make illicit gains of $7 million. Azmi was jailed last year and put on trial in October, charged with illegal acquisition of funds.

He is one of many former Mubarak cronies detained on suspicion of corruption, some of whom have been sentence while others await trial. The group includes two former prime ministers, the former speaker of parliament, several wealthy businessmen and cabinet ministers closely linked to Gamal.
The verdict against Azmi came less than a week before a court was due to issue its verdict in the trial of Mubarak, who faced charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the popular uprising that toppled his regime last year. Mubarak, along with Gamal and his other son, Alaa, also faced corruption charges.

If convicted the former long-term leader could face the death penalty.

Sources: BBC News, Aljazeera, CTV

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

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