CAIRO (AP) — A judicial official in Egypt says a Cairo court has acquitted the former interior minister under longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak of charges of corruption and money laundering.
The Thursday verdict in the retrial of Habib el-Adly lifted a 12-year jail term and 15 million Egyptian pound ($2.5 million) fine issued by a court in May 2011.
Al-Adly still faces other retrials, including one on charges of killing protesters during the 2011 popular uprising that toppled Mubarak, as well as another corruption-related case.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
A group of Egyptian human rights associations has condemned the conviction and sentencing of a prominent activist to 15 years in prison, saying it was unconstitutional and disregarded his right to a fair trial.
In a joint statement Thursday, the 16 groups said the verdict against Alaa Abdel-Fattah and 24 others "further downgrades the status of human rights in Egypt."
"The ruling yesterday is but another example of the government's continued disregard for the protection of constitutional guarantees of freedom of assembly and the right to a fair trial, as well as Egypt's international obligations."
A court convicted the 25 on Wednesday in absentia for organizing an illegal demonstration, using force against police and posing a threat to public safety.