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EGYPT: Former Interior Minister Habib Adli sentenced to prison in corruption case

May 5, 2011 | 10:30 am

Misir-inter-min The man who was once responsible for tightening former President Hosni Mubarak's grip on power in Egypt was sentenced to 12 years in prison and a fined about $2.5 million after being convicted of corruption charges.

Former Interior Minister Habib Adli became the first of Mubarak's top officials to be found guilty in what is expected to be a series of corruption and abuse trials facing former Mubarak ministers. Adli was charged with making "illegal gains" on a land deal.

The verdict and sentence, which can be appealed, included the seizure of over 4 million Egyptian pounds (about $690,000) from Adli. Adli deposited profits from the land sale into his personal bank accounts between October 2010 and February 2011, officials said.

Adli is also expected to stand trial on another corruption charge and appear in court in connection with his alleged role in security forces' use of live ammunition against protesters during 18 days of the uprising that toppled Mubarak in February. Judicial officials said 846 people died. If found guilty, Adli could face the death penalty.

Adli had been Mubarak's enforcer since his appointment as interior minister in 1997 following a deadly attack by Islamic militants on foreign tourists in the southern city of Luxor. During his tenure, the Egyptian police and its affiliated State Security were heavily criticized for wide-ranging human rights violations.

Growing dismay and anger among millions of Egyptians toward what critics said was the abuse of power and brutality by police was a key motive behind the Jan.25 uprising, which was symbolically planned to erupt on a public holiday honoring police officers.

Since Mubarak was forced to step down, a number of former ministers, regime-linked businessmen,  speakers of parliament as well as the ex-president's two sons have been kept in custody for interrogations and trials regarding a number of charges. Mubarak himself was briefly interrogated before heart problems halted the questioning. He remains in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh.

Officials have decided to move Mubarak to a prison hospital, but the move has been delayed until the prison's medical facilities are prepared to host the 83-year-old.

-- Amro Hassan in Cairo

Photo: Former Interior Minister Habib Adli. Credit: Reuters

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