The former interior minister of Egypt has been sentenced to twelve in prison on a conviction of money laundering and profiteering.
Habib al-Adly, who was also accused of ordering police to shoot down unarmed anti-government protesters during rallies that eventually toppled President Hosni Mubarak, is the first high-level official of the deposed regime to be sent to jail.
Al Jazeera reported that Al-Adly was specifically accused of selling land to an interior ministry contractor illegally and received more than $700,000 in kickbacks. On Thursday, the judge ordered that amount confiscated and also ordered the former interior minister to return more than $2.3-million that he had illegally acquired in just three months before the revolution.”
Egypt’s Mena news service noted that he made no comment on the guilty verdict.
Al-Adly was interior minister for 14 years and he has been widely suspected of overseeing the implementation of torture on detainees, as well as ordering security forces to shoot demonstrators. More than 800 people were killed by security forces during the uprising.
Most anti-Mubarak protesters likely wanted him to be punished for such crimes. He still faces another trial for these far more serious charges. Conviction of those charges would lead to a likely death penalty.
As Al-Adly was convicted in a Cairo courtroom, Mubarak’s sons are being probed for their alleged abuses while in office.
A correspondent for Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh said: “Protesters had been urging the prosecution of these men - former regime officials - in what has been described as a cleansing campaign of state institutions This is going to be welcomed by the protest movement.”
However, Rageh added: The country's new military leaders despite [their] attempts to bring back the money that was squandered by these men, and to hold these officials accountable, they're still being criticized for moving a little bit too slowly for the protesters' taste.