Egyptian Ex-Culture Minister Acquitted of Graft Charges

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An Egyptian criminal court on Saturday acquitted former culture minister Farouk Hosni of illicit gain charges.

CAIRO, January 6 (RIA Novosti) - An Egyptian criminal court on Saturday acquitted former culture minister Farouk Hosni of illicit gain charges, a court spokesman told journalists.

The Mubarak-era minister, who held high-ranking posts in the Culture Ministry in 1987-2011, was accused of corruption and illicit gaining of about 10 million Egyptian pounds (over $1.5 million) shortly after the January 25, 2011 uprising.

Egypt’s Illicit Gains Authority, created after ex-president Hosni Mubarak’s ouster to investigate corruption among former top-ranking officials, froze the culture minister’s personal bank assets, arrested his property and demanded him to compensate for state funds he allegedly misappropriated.

Last September, a Cairo administrative court reversed the Authority’s decision citing the lack of evidence.

Many top-ranking state officials under Hosni Mubarak’s 29-year-rule were charged with various crimes after the ex-president was ousted in February 2011.

Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison for ordering to shoot at protestors. His sons, Alaa and Gamal, were cleared of corruption charges last year but remain in custody pending an investigation into possible stock market manipulations.

 

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