Egypt scraps Mubarak ruling over telecoms shutdown

Ousted former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak

:: An Egyptian court on Saturday scrapped a ruling to fine ousted president Hosni Mubarak and two top aides for a telecommunications shutdown during the 2011 uprising, a judicial source said.

In the first days of the revolt that unseated Mubarak, authorities cut off the internet and mobile phone services in the country as they cracked down on protesters who relied heavily on social networks to mobilise.

As a result Egypt’s four main internet service providers cut off international access to their customers in a near simultaneous move, while mobile service was also disrupted.

At the time experts said the shutdown in Egypt — which sparked condemnation around the world — was the most comprehensive official electronic blackout of its kind.

The top Supreme Administrative Court had ordered Mubarak, his prime minister Ahmad Nazif and his interior minister Habib al-Adly to pay a cumulative fine of 540 million Egyptian pounds in damages.

The court, which had been petitioned by a lawyer who filed a suit against the ousted president and his aides, had ordered Mubarak to pay 200 million Egyptian pounds, Adly 300 million and Nazif the rest.

Saturday’s decision comes as Egypt gears up for a presidential election that looks certain to see President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi secure a second four-year term.

Mubarak and many members of his ousted government were detained or tried after the 2011 uprising.

The former president went on trial in August 2011 for involvement in the killing of protesters and corruption and was detained most of the time in a military hospital.

In March 2017, he was freed after having been acquitted of involvement in killing protesters and serving three years for corruption.

In January, an Egyptian court overturned a seven-year prison sentence against Adly and ordered a retrial on accusations of embezzlement.

Nazif was sentenced in 2011 to three years in prison for corruption.

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