[JURIST] The Cairo Criminal Court on Tuesday acquitted Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Nazif and former minister of interior Habib el-Adly of all charges. Both defendants were charged with “squandering public funds and profiteering” after allegedly making an illegal deal with German Company UTSCH to sell license plates for higher than market value. Prosecutors say that the deal, which lost EGP 92 million, violated the country’s tenders and auction law. The court found no evidence [Daily News Egypt report] on the charges attributed to the defendants, adding that the tenders and auction law allows the prime minister to authorize a certain body to conduct deals in several ways according to regulations the prime minister sets. The court also said that el-Adly was ignorant of financial law regulations, so there was no intention of committing the crime of “levying.” el-Adly’s lawyer told reporters that he will be released from prison on March 12.
Last June, an Egyptian court acquitted [JURIST report] el-Adly of charges that he ordered police officials to find prospective top-paying buyers for land he personally owned. In February 2013 a court upheld [JURIST report] a three-year sentence for el-Adly for taking advantage of his political position and forcing police recruits to work on his private property. In February 2012 prosecutors argued [JURIST report] that el-Adly be put to death along with Mubarak for the 2011 protester killings. In August 2011 court proceedings broke down [JURIST report] due to defense misconduct during el-Adly’s trial for the killing of pro-democracy demonstrators. The disruption came one month after the trial judge ordered [JURIST report] a nine-day postponement of the trial. In July 2011 el-Adly was convicted [JURIST report] and sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in granting a no-bid government contract that ultimately wasted USD $15 million in public funds.