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Former Egypt PM ordered released from jail

The Giza Criminal Court on Thursday ordered the release of former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Nazif [JURIST news archives]. Nazif was convicted of corruption [JURIST report] in July 2011 and sentenced to one year in jail. In September Nazif was sentenced [JURIST report] to three years in jail on charges of corruption for allegedly embezzilng $10.5 million during his time in office from 2004 to 2011. However, Egypt's Court of Cassation [SIS backgrounder], its highest court, overturned Nazif's jail sentence [JURIST report] last week and ordered a retrial on charges of illicit gains. Having completed his July 2011 sentence, and with the 2012 sentence being overturned, the court ordered Nazif's release [AFP report] "so long as he is not being detained on other charges." The date for the retrial of the 2012 charges has not yet been set.

Nazif was one of many government officers who served under former president Hosni Mubarak [JURIST news archive] to have faced corruption charges since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] led to his ousting. Mubarak himself is currently facing a retrial [JURIST report] on charges of complicity in the murder of more than 800 protesters during the revolution. In April an appeals court ordered that he be released [JURIST report] from prison while awaiting his retrial because he had already served the maximum two years in temporary detention. The former ministers of tourism and housing were acquitted [JURIST report] of corruption charges in March after having been charged with profiteering and illegally selling state-owned land. In 2012 another former prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, was referred for trial [JURIST report] on charges of corruption while in office under Mubarak. Nazif was charged with corruption [JURIST report] in 2011, along with former finance minister Yousef Boutros and former interior minister Habib el Adly.

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