Mubarak-era interior minister El-Adly acquitted of corruption, set for release

Ahram Online , Thursday 19 Mar 2015

The one-time security strongman could be out of prison within days, said his lawyer; he was previously acquitted in the 2011 murder of protesters' case

Former Egyptian Interior Minister Habib El-Adly arrives at a court house in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012 (Photo: AP)

A Cairo criminal court on Thursday acquitted Hosni Mubarak-era interior minister Habib El-Adly of corruption charges, paving the way for his release, his lawyer told Ahram Online

El-Adly was cleared of charges he had used his political influence to acquire illicit gains amounting to LE181 million ($23.72 million).

The former minister has faced a number of criminal charges since the 2011 revolution saw him removed from his post.

El-Adly and Mubarak were both charged in late 2011 with complicity in the death of protesters during that uprising.

An initial conviction in June 2012 saw both men sentenced to life in prison, but in November 2014 the court dropped the charges against Mubarak while clearing El-Adly and his top aides.

Thursday's verdict marks the final trial El-Adly had been facing for four years, Essam El-Batawy said.

El-Batawy told Ahram Online his client would be released "within days."

The lawyer said his client has served time for all convictions in separate cases, including a three-year jail term for exploiting subordinates and security vehicles for private purposes, and a one-month sentence for failing to uphold an administrative court decision while in office.

"[El-Adly] will be at home in three, four days' time," El-Batawy said.

The court on Thursday also ordered that a freeze on funds belonging to El-Adly and his family be lifted.

Several Mubarak-era figures have been recently released pending retrials on charges of corruption.

In February, Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Nazif  and El-Adly were cleared of corruption charges over a deal to import car licence plates at an excessively high price. Nazif is also facing a retrial over other corruption charges.

El-Adly also saw an initial 12-year sentence and LE15 million fine over charges of corruption and money laundering in a separate case dropped.

Al- Adly was accused of overseeing police abuses during his tenure as minister of interior 1997-2011.

Police brutality and human rights abuses helped ignite the 2011 revolt that swept long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak from power.

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