An Egyptian court on Thursday acquitted toppled president Hosni Mubarak's two sons and his former prime minister of corruption charges.
Mubarak's sons, Gamal and Alaa, along with former premier Ahmed Shafiq, were cleared of charges that they had illegally obtained public land, which they had used to generate illegal profits of up to 30 million Egyptian pounds (around $4 million).
The case dates back to when Shafiq served as civil aviation minister under Mubarak, when he allegedly seized a plot of public land and allocated it to the Pilots' Association for Land Development, which he headed at the time.
Shafiq was appointed prime minister by Mubarak in a last-ditch attempt to contain popular anger during Egypt's 18-day uprising in January 2011.
In June 2012, Shafiq came in a close second to Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi – who was ousted by the army this summer – in Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential polls.
Following Morsi's electoral victory last year, Shafiq packed up and left for the United Arab Emirates, where he has remained ever since.
The two states appointed ambassadors in September for the first time since 2011.
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