Middle East

Egypt sentences ex-minister Youssef Boutros Ghali

Youseff Boutros Ghali in April 2010
Image caption Youssef Boutros Ghali's whereabouts are not clear

Egypt's former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali has been given a 30-year jail sentence over corruption charges, court sources said.

The judges also ordered him to pay back 60m Egyptian pounds (£6.1m). He was convicted in absentia.

Last month Egypt's former tourism and interior ministers were given long jail sentences over similar charges.

Several officials from Hosni Mubarak's former regime are in detention. Mr Mubarak was ousted in February.

He remains in detention in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, charged with ordering the killing of protesters during the widespread demonstrations that forced him out of office.

His two sons, Alaa and Gamal, are being held in Cairo's Tora prison and also face fraud charges.

At least 846 civilians were killed during 18 days of street protests. Most were shot in the head and chest.

Mubarak 'ill'

The Cairo criminal court gave Ghali 15 years for squandering public money by using cars held in customs and 15 years for abusing his position to personally benefit from finance ministry funds.

In May, Egypt's former Tourism Minister Zuhair Garranah was jailed for five years for handing out tourism licences illegally. Ex-Interior Minister Habib al-Adly was jailed for 12 years for money-laundering and profiteering.

Hosni Mubarak, 83, is being held in hospital after doctors said his heart condition put him at risk of a sudden attack, and could not be moved to prison.

The former leader is also being questioned over charges that he and his family made huge profits during the three decades he spent as Egyptian president.

He has already been fined $34m (£20m) for cutting off communications services during February's uprising.

His wife, who was being held on corruption charges, has been released on bail after handing over assets.

Suzanne Mubarak turned over a villa in a Cairo suburb and $3m (£1.9m) held in bank accounts in Egypt last month.