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Egypt's ex-tourism minister jailed for five years

Zuheir Garana is found guilty of intentionally damaging public finances by allowing the corrupt sale of state lands.

Former Egyptian Tourism Minister Zuheir Garana, right, was today jailed for five years over the corrupt sale of national resources.
Former Egyptian Tourism Minister Zuheir Garana, right, was today jailed for five years over the corrupt sale of national resources.
Image: STR/AP

AN EGYPTIAN COURT has convicted the country’s ex-tourism minister of corruption and sentenced him to five years in prison, making him the second high-ranking official to be found guilty since President Hosni Mubarak’s removal from power earlier this year.

Zuheir Garana was found guilty of intentionally damaging public finances by allowing two businessmen to illegally acquire state land. The Cairo court also sentenced the two businessmen – in absentia – to five years in jail. The verdict can be appealed.

Garana’s conviction is the second of some two dozen Mubarak-era Cabinet ministers and regime-linked businessmen who have been detained since the regime’s toppling on February 11.

Among those in custody are the former prime minister, the speakers of both house of parliament, and Mubarak’s two sons – all of whom have been detained on suspicion of corruption.

Also today, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement that investigators questioned Mubarak, 83, at his hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Prosecutor General Abdel-Maguid Mahmoud ordered Mubarak’s detention extended for 15 days pending investigation of accusations of illegally amassing wealth and his role in the use of live ammunition against the protesters.

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