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Former Egyptian officials fined over Internet cuts

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The gathering in Tahrir Square which led to the fall of the former Egyptian regime (Image credit: Jonathan Rashad)

Egypt’s state television reported late Saturday evening that a court has fined former President Hosni Mubarak nearly $35 million, former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif $7 million and former Interior Minister Habib el-Adly $50 million for cutting mobile networks and the Internet during the Egyptian uprising in late January.

According to the television report, the three former top officials were guilty of “causing damage to the national economy.” They have been ordered to pay the fines to the country’s treasury.

Activists here in Cairo praised the ruling, saying it was one more step toward creating an Egypt where corruption is being erased and justice is being served.

“We are excited about the ruling and it shows people that this country is changing for the better,” began Rana Mahmoud, a 33-year-old marketing assistant with a top international firm and one of the thousands who took to the streets in January.

She added that the activist community views the ruling as “a step in the right direction toward better business practices where corruption can see people get in trouble.”

The Minister of Communications, Maguid Osman, told the MENA state-run news agency that the government is to dole out nearly $17 million to telecom operators over their forced suspension of services during the protests.

Telecom operators closed their services in late January as the government attempted to quell the masses that had been gathering on a daily basis in Cairo and across the country.

By Desmond Shephard

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