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Appeal court upholds prison sentence for Mubarak-era minister

Former speaker of Egypt’s Shura Council, Safwat El-Sherif [Facebook]
Former Egyptian politician, Safwat El-Sherif 10 September 2018 [Facebook]

An Egyptian appeal court has upheld a three-year prison sentence for a former minister from the cabinet that was ousted along with the country’s long-serving President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The ouster came about as a result of the popular uprising known as the 25 January Revolution.

In September 2018, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Safwat El-Sherif, 87, to three years in prison and fined him 99 million Egyptian pounds (around $6 million) after he was convicted in a case of bribery and corruption. The Appeal Court rejected his appeal and its ruling is final and may not be appealed against. In July, the court had ordered that Sherif should be detained until the current session yesterday.

Before the 2011 uprising, Sherif was a long-serving Minister of Information, the Speaker of the Shura Council and a close associate of Mubarak for more than 25 years.

Along with numerous Mubarak-era officials, he faced charges that included corruption and involvement in the killing of protesters in the 2011 popular protests. Most of the defendants were eventually acquitted or handed light sentences, especially after the 2013 military coup led by the current President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. The coup is considered by impartial observers and critics alike to be the counterrevolution that reversed the outcomes of 2011 and cracked down on the revolutionaries, political opponents and dissidents in general, thousands of whom still languish in prison.

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