Last updated: 19 March, 2015

Egypt acquits Mubarak-era minister in last graft case

An Egyptian court Thursday acquitted an interior minister of ousted president Hosni Mubarak of corruption charges, in the last in a string of cases he faced, his lawyer and state media said.

Habib al-Adly was cleared of illegally accumulating around 181 million Egyptian pounds ($25 million/23 million euros) and will be released, his lawyer Mohammed el-Gendy said.

The court also lifted an asset freeze on the former minister and members of his family, he added.

“Keeping him in jail for another hour would be illegal,” Gendy said of the once-feared interior minister who ran Mubarak’s security service with an iron grip.

However, he was convicted of taking advantage of his position and forcing police conscripts to work on his private property.

But Adly has already served the full three-year sentence.

Thursday’s verdict is the latest in a series of acquittals for Mubarak-era officials, including the veteran leader himself.

An appeals court last month overturned a suspended five-year sentence slapped on Adly and ex-premier Ahmed Nazif over other corruption charges.

Adly was also cleared of murder charges in a separate retrial with Mubarak in November, for which he had been sentenced to life in prison by a lower court.

Trials of Mubarak and his former officials have been overshadowed by those against Islamist former president Mohamed Morsi and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was branded a “terrorist group” in 2013.

Morsi was ousted earlier that year by then army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was subsequently elected as his successor.

Since Morsi’s ouster, the government has launched a brutal crackdown against his supporters that has left hundreds dead and thousands jailed after often speedy mass trials.

Morsi and leaders of his outlawed Muslim Brotherhood are facing several trials, punishable by death if found guilty.

Youth leaders who spearheaded the 18-day revolt in 2011 that toppled Mubarak have also been jailed on charges of illegal protest over the past year.