Egypt’s ex-tourism minister jailed for 5 years

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CAIRO, (AP) — An Egyptian court on Tuesday convicted the country’s ex-tourism minister of corruption and sentenced him to five years in prison, making him the second high-ranking official to be found guilty since President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.

Zuheir Garana was found guilty of intentionally damaging public finances by allowing two businessmen to illegally acquire state land. The Cairo court also sentenced the two businessmen — in absentia — to five years in jail. The verdict can be appealed.

Garana’s conviction is the second of some two dozen Mubarak-era Cabinet ministers and regime-linked businessmen who have been detained since the regime’s Feb. 11 toppling. Among those in custody are a former prime minister, the speakers of parliament’s two chambers, and Mubarak’s two sons, also detained on suspicion of corruption.

Also Tuesday, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement that investigators had questioned Mr. Mubarak, 83, at his hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Prosecutor General Abdel-Maguid Mahmoud ordered Mr. Mubarak’s detention extended for 15 days pending an investigation of accusations of illegally amassing wealth and his role in the use of live ammunition against protesters.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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