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Egypt charges former culture minister with corruption

The Egyptian Ministry of Justice on Tuesday brought charges against former culture minister Farouq Hosni for corruption. He has been accused [AFP report] of illegally obtaining 27 million Egyptian pounds (USD $4.5 million) during his term as culture minister under the ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. He is now required to return the whole amount while paying additional 9 million pound fine. Farouq Hosni was referred to criminal court after an investigation in which the former official failed to provide evidence demonstrating the sources of his wealth. Hosni had faced a travel ban last year during the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] which was lifted some time later. The Ministry of Justice also announced that Mubarak, his wife and two children were being investigated for new corruption allegations related to purchase of land north of Cairo although no new charges have been brought against them.

Egypt is still working on investigating corruption allegations against former officials under Mubarak's 30-year regime. In August the former secretary for the Mubarak's political party, Safwat El-Sherif, was referred to a criminal court [JURIST report] on corruption charges. He was accused of having abused his office by obtaining real estates at discounted prices and illegally obtaining $49.2 million. In July an Egyptian court rejected pleas to release [JURIST report] Mubarak's two sons while they await trial. Their lawyer argued that his clients are detained unlawfully because they were arrested for a misdemeanor and not for a felony which would allow authorities to detain an individual only up to six months, a term that the Mubaraks already served. Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, along with seven others, were charged [JURIST report] with stock market fraud and using unfair trading practices and illegally manipulating the market. Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life [JURIST report] after an Egyptian court found him guilty of complicity to kill protesters during the Arab Spring protests [JURIST news archive]. During the protests that resulted in the overturning of Mubarak's 30-year regime, Mubarak ordered government officials to use gunfire and other violent measures to subdue protesters, causing over 850 deaths [JURIST report]. Mubarak's ended in February with the chief prosecutor asking the court in his closing remarks to issue a death sentence [JURIST reports] against the former ruler.

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