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Egyptian Court Acquits Mubarak-Era Ministers

Demonstrators hold banners as they protest in the Martyrs Square in Suez, Egypt, as hundreds of Egyptians attacked a courtroom in Cairo, July 5, 2011

An Egyptian court has acquitted three former ministers from ex-President Hosni Mubarak's administration of corruption charges.

The court, on Tuesday, cleared the former ministers of information, Anas el-Fekky, and finance, Youssef Boutros-Ghali, of charges of squandering public funds.

In a separate ruling by the same court, the former housing minister, Ahmed el-Maghrabi, and the chairman of a development project were found innocent of illegal profiteering.

Stuart Levey, Council on Foreign Relations, speaks to Susan Yackee about the role of corruption in the Arab Spring uprisings.

The rulings in Cairo mark the first time former senior officials have been exonerated since an anti-government uprising led to Mubarak's resignation in February. Allegations of government corruption helped fuel the unrest that led to his departure.

Meanwhile, Egypt's former trade minister, Rachid Mohammed Rachid, on Tuesday received a five-year prison sentence for a corruption conviction. He was sentenced in absentia.

On Monday, violence erupted at a Cairo courthouse after a judge ordered the release of a group of policemen charged with killing protesters during the anti-government uprising.

Hundreds of Egyptians attacked the courthouse and later blocked a highway.

The court released seven policemen on bail and postponed their trials until mid-September. Three other police officers are being tried in absentia.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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