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Egypt sentences Mubarak’s information minister to jail

Hosni Mubarak's powerful information minister, Anas el-Fekky, was convicted by an Egyptian court Wednesday for squandering public funds during his time in office and sentenced to seven years in prison.


REUTERS - An Egyptian court sentenced former information minister, Anas el-Fekky, to seven years in prison for squandering public funds from the state television union, the latest prison sentence for a member of Hosni Mubarak's cabinet.

Fekky was one of the most high-profile targets for protesters in part because of how state media vilified them during an uprising that forced Mubarak from power.

The court also sentenced Osama el-Sheikh, the former head of the union, to five years on the same charges.

Fekky was detained in February on suspicion of profiteering and wasting public funds.

The ruling, which was aired on state television, was related to a case in which the pair were accused of squandering 9.5 million Egyptian pounds ($1.6 million) by paying over the odds for television drama series.

The prosecutor had also charged Fekky with depriving the Radio and Television Union, which he ran, of about $1.9 million by exempting private television stations from fees for live broadcasts of the 2009-2010 football season and the start of the 2010-2011 season.
It said Fekky had done this to further his "personal interests as part of an attempt to impose his control and media policies on these stations". That case is still being heard.

Earlier this month, he was acquitted of separate corruption charges that he had demanded 36 million Egyptian pounds from the finance minister for media campaigns promoting Mubarak and his ruling party.

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