[JURIST] An Egyptian court on Tuesday acquitted three former ministers under ousted president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] on charges of misappropriating state funds. The Cairo Criminal Court found three ministers not guilty [Al-Ahram report]: Ahmed Maghrabi, former minister of housing, Yousef Boutros-Ghali, former minister of finance, and former minister of information Anas el-Fiqqi. The verdict is the first time former ministers of Mubarak have been found not guilty on corruption charges since the former president stepped down in February. The court did sentence former trade minister Rachid Mohammed Rachid in absentia for squandering public funds and profiteering. Maghrabu and Boutros-Ghali will remain in custody as they are facing other charges. The decision was not well received by many Egyptians [AP report] who feel that the Cairo criminal court is rushing corruption trials while failing to bring more cases for human rights abuses against protesters. A trial date for Mubarak was set [JURIST report] for August 3 at the Cairo Criminal Court [MENA report].
In May, an Egyptian criminal court convicted [JURIST report] the country’s former tourism minister, Zoheir Garranah, of corruption and sentenced him to five years in prison. In April, Egyptian prosecutors charged [JURIST report] Boutros-Ghali, former prime minister Ahmed Nazif and former interior minister Habib el Adly with corruption. In March, a commission of Arab and Egyptian human rights groups accused the former president [JURIST report] and the country’s police of murdering protesters during the demonstrations. The joint commission submitted their report to Egypt’s top prosecutor for further investigation. The Supreme Military Council of Egypt, which assumed power after Mubarak’s resignation, instructed Egypt’s top prosecutor to investigate the death of protesters [RIA Novosti report] during the three weeks of demonstrations in the country. Amnesty International has reported that at least 840 people were killed [JURIST report], and more than 6,000 were injured, during the Egyptian protests.
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