Egypts former culture minister cleared of corruption charges

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Hosni, an abstract painter, had served as culture minister for 23 years under former President Mubarak. Dozens of legal cases have been filed against Mubarak's associates since he was ousted in an uprising on Feb. 11, 2011.

The former president, 84, his sons and other former ministers are in prison facing corruption charges. Mubarak was sentenced in June to life in jail over the killing of protesters.

The head of the Illicit Gains Authority, Assem al-Gohary, had said, “We decided to send Farouk Hosni to a criminal court on charges of accomplishing illegal gains estimated at 18 million Egyptian pounds ($2.95 million).”

In 2009, Hosni ran for the post of UNESCO director-general, a bid that angered many Western nations because of comments he made in 2008 when he said he would burn Israeli books if he found them in Egyptian libraries. He later apologized for the remarks saying they were taken out of context.

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