World Bulletin / News Desk
An Egyptian court sentenced former oil minister Sameh Fahmy to 15 years in prison on Thursday for selling cheap gas to Israel and squandering public funds, a judicial source said.
Fahmy was arrested and held in custody in April 2011 and his trial began the next month.
Prosecutors said former president Hosni Mubarak's government sold gas at preferential rates to Israel and other countries, costing Egypt billions of dollars in lost revenue.
Suspicions of high-level corruption helped drive protests that unseated Mubarak in February 2011 and led to a string of lawsuits against him and several of his associates.
Mubarak was tried and handed a life prison sentence this month for his role in the killing of hundreds of protesters against his rule.
Hussein Salem, a major shareholder in East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), which exported the gas to Israel, was given a 15-year prison sentence in absentia by the court. Salem fled to Spain after the uprising.
Ten other petroleum ministry officials received jail terms of between three and 10 years in prison and fines totalling 2.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($412.47 million) on Thursday, the judicial source said. ($1 = 6.0610 Egyptian pounds)
EU leaders agreed last week to increase sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, citing devastating attacks on Syria's second city of Aleppo.
"I strongly believe it is absolutely possible to strengthen European defence without duplicating efforts by NATO," alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said.
12 people were killed Tuesday after al-Shabaab militants carried out attack in Mandera near Kenyan-Somali border
Head of Kurdish Regional Government says ‘only Iraqi counter-terrorism forces’ will enter Mosul once ISIL is defeated
25 militants killed in western Anbar province while another 5 are killed near Kirkuk, local military sources say
Jobless rate drops below 20 percent for first time in 6 years, despite Spain lacking agreed government for last 10 months
The airlines, owned by flag carrier Lufthansa, are locked in disputes with the Ufo flight attendants union.
Stoltenberg said NATO had just launched its own Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean to help support Operation Sophia.
Belgium has effectively blocked the deal, which must be endorsed by all 28 EU member states.
No casualties reported from quake, which was felt as far away as Rome
The incident takes place Tuesday in Qalqilya, northern West bank
Consultative meetings also due next week on forming a government of reconciliation in Libya
'There are no more migrants in the camp.' says Pas-de-Calais prefect Fabienne Buccio
At least 3,800 people have died, making 2016 the deadliest ever, says UNHCR spokesman
In Kenya, Rockefeller Foundation panel says 1/3 of food never makes if from farm to table
Iraqi army, meanwhile, captures strategic oilfield northeast of ISIL-held city