[QODLink]
Middle East
Egyptian TV airs trial to placate protesters
Judge allows cameras to broadcast trial of former Mubarak ministers live, amid growing public demand for transparency.
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2011 17:19



Egyptian television has shown live images of the trial of two of Hosni Mubarak's ministers, the first such broadcast aimed at placating protesters who have demanded greater transparency in holding the former president's allies to account.
 
Anas el-Fekky, the former Information Minister, and Osama el-Sheikh, the former head of the Egypt TV and Radio Union, are accused of corruption and squandering public funds.

A judge ordered on July 12 that cameras be allowed into sessions. Some recorded images were shown of a trial of another minister on Saturday, but Monday's session was the first live broadcast.

The trials of Mubarak's former associates are regarded by many as a credibility test for the military council that took power after his downfall.

Fekky was detained in February on suspicion of profiteering and wasting public funds.

The prosecutor charged Fekky with depriving the Radio and Television Union, which he ran as minister, of about $1.9m in profits by exempting private television stations from fees for live broadcasts of the 2009-2010 football season and the start of the 2010-2011 season.

It said Fekky had done this to further his "personal interests as part of an attempt to impose his control and media policies on these stations".

In response to the judge's questioning on the charges, Fekky said: "It's not true, sir."

Fekky's trial was adjourned until September 18, while Sheikh's trial was adjourned until Tuesday.

Cabinet reshuffle

Meanwhile, Egypt's new cabinet is set to be sworn in after a reshuffle by Essam Sharraf, the prime minister, that protesters say has only partially satisfied their demands for deeper political and economic reforms.

Sharraf was taken to hospital on Monday after suffering from exhaustion.

Rabab el Mehdi, a politics professor at the American University in Cairo, said: "For one they kept some of the ministers who served under Mubarak, like the minister of international co-operation and environment, secondly the new appointments also included names from the NDP [the former ruling party], like the minister of education."

Protesters, who have camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square since July 8, say they want further measures, including a quicker trial of Mubarak, who was ousted as president on February 11 in a popular uprising and is set to go on trial on August 3.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
EU's poorest member state is struggling to cope with an influx of mostly war-weary Syrian refugees.
Study says tipping point reached as poachers kill 7 percent of African elephants annually; birth rate is 5 percent.
Zimbabwe's leader given rotating chairmanship of 15-member nation bloc a year after he won disputed presidential polls.
join our mailing list