[QODLink]
Middle East
Jail for former Egyptian trade minister
Rachid Mohamed Rachid tried in absentia for profiteering and squandering public funds.
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2011 14:15
Rachid, the former trade minister, was also ordered to pay a $1.57 million fine [Reuters]

An Egyptian court has convicted a former trade minister in absentia, sentencing him to five years in prison for profiteering and squandering public funds, the MENA news agency reports.

Rachid Mohamed Rachid was sentenced on Saturday, MENA reported, and was also ordered to pay $1.57 million (9.385 million Egyptian pounds) in fines. The court ruled that he had unlawfully seized public money from a government export development fund.

Rachid fled Cairo shortly after the start of the uprising in which Hosni Mubarak, the country's former president, was overthrown.

In an interview with al-Arabiya television in February, Rachid denied any wrongdoing during his tenure. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Egypt is trying a number of former ministers and aides, in addition to Mubarak himself. All of those under investigation are being held in prisons on various charges.

Earlier in June, a Cairo court convicted Youssef Boutros-Ghali, the former finance minister, in absentia, sentencing him to 30 years in prison for profiteering and abusing state and private assets.

Israeli's detention extended

Egyptian security services, meanwhile, have renewed the detention of a US-born Israeli who is being held on charges of engaging in espionage.

A security official told the Associated Press new agency that 27-year-old Ilan Grapel is to spend 15 more days in detention pending further investigations.

Grapel was arrested two weeks ago, and Egypt says that he is a Mossad agent. Pictures of Grapel in Israeli military uniform have been widely published in Egyptian newspapers since his capture.

Israel denies that he was a spy, saying that he was working for a legal aid project in Cairo.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
join our mailing list