Egypts former culture minister cleared of corruption charges

Faruq Hosni, who was Egypt's culture minister for more than two decades under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, was cleared on Saturday of corruption charges, a judicial source said.

A criminal court in the Giza suburb of Cairo “found Faruq Hosni not guilty on charges of corruption and illegal enrichment,” the source said. In September, state media reported he was accused of illegally acquiring 18 million Egyptian pounds (nearly $3 million).

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.

Last Update: Saturday, 05 January 2013 KSA 17:04 - GMT 14:04