An Egyptian court on Tuesday convicted former prime minister Ahmed Nazif and two Cabinet officials of corruption and sentenced them to various prison terms. Nazif was sentenced to one year [Reuters report], while former interior minister Habib el Adly, who is already serving a 12-year prison sentence, was sentenced to five years. Former finance minister Yousef Boutros was tried and sentenced in absentia to 10 years. The three former officials, all of which were charged in April [JURIST report] and served under former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive], granted a no-bid contract [Al Jazeera report] to a German businessman to sell license plates in Egypt. The deal wasted USD $15 million of public funds by paying more for the plates than market price. The men were ordered to return the $15 million, while Boutros and Adly were also fined nearly USD $17 million.
The men were charged just days after the court ordered Mubarak moved to a hospital to recover from an unspecified ailment, causing a delay in questioning [JURIST report] regarding his alleged roles in protester deaths and embezzlement of government money. A week earlier, the chief prosecutor summoned [Al Jazeera report] Mubarak for questioning, along with his two sons, Gamal and Alaa. Egyptian authorities continued to question Mubarak's sons [AFP report] after Mubarak was taken to the hospital. In a televised statement, Mubarak denied corruption charges [BBC report], asserted his right to defend his reputation and expressed his willingness to cooperate [Al Arabiya report] with investigations, denying that he owns property abroad or holds foreign bank accounts.