Mubarak-Era Housing Minister Acquitted Once More

An appeal that challenged the acquittal of a Mubarak-era minister of graft charges was rejected by Egypt’s Court of Cassation on Sunday, the latest in a series of acquittals of the former president’s top officials.

The court’s decision to reject the appeal, which was lodged by the prosecution, means that the acquittal of former housing minister Ahmed al-Maghrabi will be upheld.

He and three others, including the former chairman of a state-run newspaper, an Egyptian and an Emirati businessman, were referred to trial in a case where the former minister was accused of unlawfully profiting from a land deal.

The Court of Cassation’s decision today comes a day after the same court upheld Maghrabi’s acquittal in another case for charges of seizing state land and squandering funds worth 25 million Egyptian pounds ($3.27 million).

Maghrabi was brought to court in multiple trials, like many ministers from the era of deposed president Hosni Mubarak who was toppled after an uprising in January 2011 that brought an end to his 30-year rule.

On Thursday, the Court of Cassation turned down a challenge to the acquittal of a former tourism minister of graft charges, during Mubarak’s tenure.

Mubarak himself was ordered earlier this month to stand retrial for complicity in the killing of protesters during the 18-day uprising which toppled his regime.

The acquittals of all other defendants in that case were upheld by the Court of Cassation, including Mubarak’s two sons Alaa and Gamal and his former interior minister Habib al-Adly.

Source : Aswat Masriya