Mubarak culture minister charged

2012-09-04 18:54
Farouq Hosni allegedly failed to account for 18 million Egyptian pounds of his wealth during a Justice Ministry investigation. (Nasser Nasser, AP/File)

Farouq Hosni allegedly failed to account for 18 million Egyptian pounds of his wealth during a Justice Ministry investigation. (Nasser Nasser, AP/File)

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Cairo - Egyptian authorities charged ousted leader Hosni Mubarak's longtime culture minister with corruption on Tuesday and referred him to trial, the state news agency reported.

Justice Ministry officials also said that Mubarak, his wife and two children were being investigated for new corruption allegations pertaining to the purchase of land in the Nile Delta north of Cairo at a small fraction of its market value. No new charges have brought against any of the four yet.

Mubarak is already serving a life sentence on a conviction of complicity in the killing of hundreds of protesters during last year's uprising against his rule. His two sons, onetime heir apparent Gamal and wealthy businessman Alaa, are on trial for insider trading.

The two were questioned last month over their 1993 purchase of a plot of land from a housing association led at the time by Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's last prime minister and longtime friend who unsuccessfully ran for president earlier this year.

Mubarak's wife, Suzanne, was briefly arrested last year on corruption charges but was let go after she paid back to the state money she was accused to stealing.

During a Justice Ministry investigation, Farouq Hosni, who served as culture minister for most of Mubarak's 29 year-rule, allegedly failed to account for $3m of his wealth. He is being asked to return the money to the state.

Hosni, a renowned painter, joins some three dozen stalwarts of the Mubarak regime who face corruption charges. Some of them have been convicted, while others are still on trial.

Hosni was widely thought to be close to Mubarak's wife Suzanne, something believed to have kept him in his prestigious job for close to three decades. Throughout his years as culture minister, Hosni faced a wave after wave of criticism over various issues.

The latest controversy was in 2010 when a $50m Vincent van Gogh painting was stolen from an Egyptian museum.

- AP
Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa
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