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)
The banning of the Palestinian flag at the Eurovision contest has sparked outrage with the PLO demanding an apology from the contest organisers
A military plane has crashed in Sudan killing all crew on board
Russia's military exercises near the Baltics has made NATO nervous, forcing the deployment of 4,000 troops to the region
After threatening Sweden, Russia has warned Finland that it would risk a serious crisis if it joins the NATO circle
Hundreds of supporters of Shi'ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed Baghdad's Green Zone on Saturday and entered the parliament building
With two soldiers killed in Ukraine in fresh fighting, tension has risen with NATO feeling the need for a Cold War-style hotlines with Moscow to avoid clashes
A satellite phone call to an Italian cargo ship resulted in the rescue of 26 refugees
A UN expert has called on the government of El Salvador to develop and implement a wide range of initiatives to protect the victims of modern forms of slavery
Austria said on Saturday it was in talks with the European Union's executive body to extend border controls brought in last year to help stem the migrant flow.
Emails, correspondence and trade-deal details among sensitive documents released online by Anonymous hacking group
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The ELN guerrilla group has attacked infrastructure and have continued to take hostages
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Controversy sparks as Eurovision officials equate Kosovo, Crimean Tatar, Basque and Palestine flags with that of ISIL
Mandate of UN operation in Ivory Coast, which includes French forces, has also been extended until June 30, 2017
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