Egypt corruption trials on TV

2011-07-12 19:45

Cairo - Egypt will allow a television camera into court for the trials of Hosni Mubarak's associates to placate protesters calling for more transparency.

Judge Mohamed Hossam al-Gheriyani, the head of the Egyptian Supreme Judiciary Council, said in a statement on Tuesday that one camera would be allowed into each session.

Images would be shown on a screen outside the courtroom. It was not immediately clear whether court sessions would also be broadcast on public channels.

Separately, the state news agency said Gheriyani recommended moving the trials to venues that could hold more people.

Egyptians extended protests calling for swifter reforms into a fifth day, and protesters have been angered in part by the slow pace of corruption trials and closed court sessions.

Last week, a court cleared three ex-ministers of graft in the first ruling to exonerate such senior officials since Egypt's uprising.

On Tuesday, former prime minister Ahmed Nazif was sentenced to a one-year suspended jail term and former interior minister Habib al-Adli was jailed for five years for graft.

The protests that unseated President Mubarak in February were driven by anger at high-level corruption, and the trials of his former associates are regarded as a credibility test for the military council that took power after his downfall.

In one court hearing last month, some families and friends of the more than 840 people who died in the uprising were not allowed into the courtroom because of the number of lawyers, activists and journalists there.

Scuffles broke out between security staff and those prevented from entering.

The large crowds had prompted calls for Adli's trial to be moved to a bigger location. Some newspaper commentators had even called for his trial to be held in a sports stadium.

Read more on:    hosni mubarak  |  egypt  |  egypt protests  |  north africa  |  uprisings
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