Egypt convicts Mubarak's information minister

September 28, 2011 - 10:40 AM

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court on Wednesday convicted the country's powerful former information minister of corruption and sentenced him to seven years in prison.

Anas al-Fiqqi's conviction is the latest by an Egyptian court of former senior officials in toppled President Hosni Mubarak's regime. Former state television chief, Osama el-Sheikh, also was sentenced to five years in prison in the same case as al-Fiqqi.

Meting out justice to former regime officials has been a driving force behind continued protests and frustration among the groups that originally took to Egypt's streets to demand Mubarak's ouster.

The longtime leader, who stepped down in February and handed power to a military council, is also on trial on charges that he ordered the use of deadly force against protesters in the 18-day uprising that toppled him. His two sons, businessman Alaa and one-time heir apparent Gamal, are being tried on corruption charges.

A handful of former regime officials already have been convicted, including the ex-interior and tourism ministers, as well as a former ruling party stalwart and steel magnate Ahmed Ezz, primarily on corruption charges. Other former regime figures are still on trial.

El-Fiqqi already was acquitted of other charges, including channeling state money to help Mubarak's party election campaigns.

Following Wednesday's verdict, the families and supporters of the defendants broke out in chants, scuffled with one another and directed slurs at the judges. "Invalid, Invalid," the crowd chanted.