Egypt's former Tourism Minister Zoheir Garranah 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer/Files)
Egypt’s former tourism minister was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prison
for squandering public funds, the second member of deposed president Hosni
Mubarak’s cabinet to be jailed for financial misconduct.
A criminal court
found Zoheir Garranah guilty of selling public land in Red Sea province below
its market value to two businessmen, the court said in a statement. The three
were fined more than $49 million and ordered to give back the
'Mubarak to be questioned on corruption charges'
Egypt's prime minister quits after calls for purge
Egypt’s public prosecutor extended the detention of Mubarak himself
by 15 days on Tuesday as an inquiry continues into abuse of public funds and the
killing of protesters, a judicial source said.
Mubarak, who has denied
the allegations, was first detained on April 13 but has not left a hospital in
the Red Sea resort of Sharm e-Sheikh where he was taken after suffering health
problems under questioning.
Authorities stepped up security around
churches in Cairo on Monday after two days of clashes between minority
Christians and Muslims that killed 12 people and highlighted rising inter-faith
The violence that left a church wrecked by fire and more than
238 people wounded over the weekend was triggered by rumors that Christians had
abducted a woman who converted to Islam. The army has said that 190 people
arrested after the clashes would be tried in military courts over the
Hundreds of Christians have also staged a sit-in outside the
television station in central Cairo calling for Muslims who had killed Copts and
burned churches in recent months to be put on trial.
In the northern city
of Alexandria, hundreds of Christians blocked the main coastal road to protest
the Cairo violence, sparking clashes with drivers.
“Oh Tantawi, where are
you? They burned down my church in front of you!” the protesters said in
reference to Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who heads the ruling army
Members of Egypt’s Christian minority and even some Muslims have
blamed the tensions on the emergence of Salafists – followers of a strict
interpretation of Islam who were long suppressed by Mubarak’s security forces –
while others believe remnants of the Mubarak regime are to blame. Some
Christians said they were thinking of leaving the country.
Brotherhood, an Islamist group widely regarded as Egypt’s best-organized
political force, denounced the violence, as did much of the Egyptian press. A
columnist for the independent Al- Masry Al-Youm
wrote, “The real problem is the
conflict between the civil state and the religious state; the conflict between
the moderate Egyptian who believes that religion is for God and the homeland is
for all, and the extremist.”
The official Al-Ahram
“What is going on will take Egypt to the abyss of chaos and turn it into another
Somalia or a new Afghanistan.... Those who tamper with Egypt’s safety and
security... are committing high treason against religion and the revolution.”