Egypt jails ex-PM Ahmed Nazif

An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced former prime minister Ahmed Nazif to three years in prison and to pay a fine of nine million Egyptian pounds ($1.5 million) for illegal enrichment.

Nazif, who left his post in late January 2011 at the start of a popular revolt against then president Hosni Mubarak, was accused of abusing his post to make illegal gains, the official MENA news agency reported.

The Egyptian judiciary has put on trial several senior officials and businessmen close to the Mubarak regime since its ouster on February 11, 2011, including the long-time leader and his sons.

Nazif, who was close to business circles and a main architect of economic liberalisation in Egypt, was remanded in custody April 2011. He was charged two months later with appropriating state property and embezzling public funds.

In a separate case, Nazif received a one-year suspended sentence for illegal profiteering in a deal to import new vehicle number plates with a German business partner and two other ministers.

Appointed prime minister in 2004, Nazif left his post on January 29, 2011, just four days after the start of the popular revolt against Mubarak.

Ahmed Shafiq, a former air force chief and civil aviation minister, replaced Nazif but he was forced to leave office shortly after the fall of the regime.

Shafiq, after running and failing in June's presidential elections, is now in the United Arab Emirates and faces an arrest warrant if he returns home.

Mubarak himself is serving a life sentence for the death of protesters during the 2011 uprising against his regime.

Corruption charges against his sons Alaa and Gamal were dropped due to the expiry of a statute of limitations but they are still in custody pending a new trial on the basis of fresh charges.

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