Former minister of interior Habib El-Adly's trial continues (Photo: Reuters)
Former interior minister Habib El-Adly has lost an appeal against a seven-year prison sentence that he was handed in the "interior ministry corruption" case.
On Tuesday, Cairo Criminal Court ruled against El-Adly, who was appealing a prison sentence handed to him for eliciting and facilitating the seizure of public funds and harming public funds.
On April 15, a Cairo criminal court found the Mubarak-era minister guilty of illicit gains from the interior ministry totalling EGP 2 billion between the years 2000 and 2011.
The defendant has also lodged an appeal before a court of cassation, but a final verdict has not yet been reached.
On Tuesday, the court ruled against El-Adly due to his failure to appear in court in person. El-Adly's lawyer Fareed El-Deeb submitted a medical report to the court, justifying his absence on the grounds that he is undergoing treatment at a Cairo hospital due to deteriortating health.
Since the April 15 ruling, both the ministry and the prosecution have made efforts to arrest El-Adly so that he can begin his sentence. However, their efforts were unsuccessful and the ministry has notified the central Cairo prosecution office that he is now considered a fugitive.
El-Adly was tried along with 12 former interior ministry officials, who received prison sentences of between three and seven years. Charges were dropped against two defendants who died during the period of the trial.
Those convicted were also ordered to repay millions of pounds in illegally obtained funds, in addition to a large fine.
The former minister was released from detention in March 2015 after being acquitted on charges of using his political influence to acquire illicit gains amounting to LE181 million.
In 2014, he was acquitted along with six of his aides and former president Hosni Mubarak on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the January 2011 uprising.
In a separate case in 2011, El-Adly received a 12-year sentence and EGP 15 million worth of fines on charges of corruption and money laundering, but both sentences were dropped in 2014.
El-Adly served as President Hosni Mubarak's interior minister from 1997 to 2011.