The former chief of staff of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Sunday was sentenced to seven years imprisonment by a criminal court in Cairo on corruption charges, officials said Sunday. Zakaria Azmi, whose trial began last year, was also ordered to pay a fine of 38 million Egyptian pounds (about US$6.2 million), a legal source said.
Azmi had been subject to a prohibition on leaving the country in March 2011, like other senior officials of the regime after the downfall of Mubarak a few weeks earlier. He was remanded in custody and his trial on corruption charges was opened in October 2011, as part of a series of legal proceedings against the inner circle of Mubarak and his son, Gamal.
Adviser to Mr. Mubarak since 1989, \ Azmi was also a senior leader of the National Democratic Party (NDP), the former ruling party.
The announcement of the verdict while the trial was almost forgotten, occurs days after the first round of presidential vote was completed.
The two finalists for the second round on 16 and 17 June are the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Morsi and the last Prime Minister of Mubarak, Ahmad Shafiq. The two men, looking to expand their support to win the presidency, have both promised to respect the achievements of the "revolution".
Shafiq, from the ranks of the army who now runs the country, seeks to rectify his image as the old regime representatives and promised that there would be "no return to the past".
His Islamist rival has also promised to "save the revolution,"
The verdict in the trial of Mubarak, on trial for corruption and the deaths of demonstrators during the revolt against his rule, is expected on June 2.
Mubarak, who has pleaded not guilty is accused along with his Interior Minister Habib el-Adli and six former officials of the security services. Both the former president's sons, Alaa and Gamal, are accused along with their father for corruption.