Egypt court fines Mubarak $90 million for Internet, telecom shutdown during protests

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[JURIST] An Egyptian judge on Saturday fined former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile] and two ministers $90 million for shutting down Internet and mobile phone service during the protests culminating in his ouster. The massive fine, the first court ruling against Mubarak since leaving office [Telegraph report], is to compensate for damage to the economy [VOA report] resulting from the shutdown of services and must be paid from private assets [Egyptian Gazette report]. Mubarak, already under house arrest at a hospital, is responsible for $33.6 million [LA Times report] of the fine issued by the administrative court. The ousted leader has been ordered to stand trial on charges of corruption and conspiring to kill protesters [JURIST report], which may carry the death penalty.

Egypt has been heavily criticized by rights groups and international organizations for its handling of protesters. In April, tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square to demand the prosecution of Mubarak [JURIST report], his family and members of his regime. In March, an Egyptian prosecutor indicted three police officials [JURIST report] from the Beni Suef governorate on charges of murdering protesters during the Egyptian revolution. According to judicial sources, Major General Ahmed Abu Zeid, Colonel Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, Colonel Mohamed Othman as well as low-ranking officials were charged with attempted murder and murder in connection with a January 28 incident where police firing in Beni Suef resulted in 19 deaths and 300 injuries. In February, rights groups reported that the Egyptian military had improperly detained protesters, allowed prisoner abuse and tortured protester-detainees “to obtain information” [JURIST reports].

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