Egypt scraps Mubarak ruling over telecoms shutdown

An Egyptian court on Saturday scrapped a ruling to fine ousted president Hosni Mubarak and two top aides for a telecommunications shutdown during the 2011 uprising. (Reuters)
Updated 24 March 2018

Egypt scraps Mubarak ruling over telecoms shutdown

CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Saturday scrapped a ruling to fine ousted president Hosni Mubarak and two top aides for a telecommunications shutdown during the 2011 uprising, a judicial source said.
In the first days of the revolt that unseated Mubarak, authorities cut off the Internet and mobile phone services in the country as they cracked down on protesters who relied heavily on social networks to mobilize.
As a result Egypt’s four main Internet service providers cut off international access to their customers in a near simultaneous move, while mobile service was also disrupted.
At the time experts said the shutdown in Egypt — which sparked condemnation around the world -was the most comprehensive official electronic blackout of its kind.
The top Supreme Administrative Court had ordered Mubarak, his prime minister Ahmad Nazif and his interior minister Habib Al-Adly to pay a cumulative fine of 540 million Egyptian pounds in damages.
The court, which had been petitioned by a lawyer who filed a suit against the ousted president and his aides, had ordered Mubarak to pay 200 million Egyptian pounds, Adly 300 million and Nazif the rest.
Saturday’s decision comes as Egypt gears up for a presidential election that looks certain to see President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi secure a second four-year term.
Mubarak and many members of his ousted government were detained or tried after the 2011 uprising.
The former president went on trial in August 2011 for involvement in the killing of protesters and corruption and was detained most of the time in a military hospital.
In March 2017, he was freed after having been acquitted of involvement in killing protesters and serving three years for corruption.
In January, an Egyptian court overturned a seven-year prison sentence against Adly and ordered a retrial on accusations of embezzlement.
Nazif was sentenced in 2011 to three years in prison for corruption.


Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries warn citizens after protests erupt in Lebanon

Updated 58 min 53 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries warn citizens after protests erupt in Lebanon

  • Saudi Arabia and Egypt called on citizens to avoid protest areas
  • Kuwait’s embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to Lebanon to postpone their plans

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Lebanon called on its citizens to avoid places where protests are taking place in the country on Friday. 

The Kingdom’s embassy in Beirut advised its nationals to take care and to “stay away from places of protest,” Al-Ekhbariya news channel reported. 

It also announced that the Lancaster Plaza Beirut hotel in the capital's Raouche neighborhood is a gathering point from which Saudi nationals can be transported to Beirut airport. 

Egypt’s embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.

“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA said.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to Lebanon to wait because of the current protests and unrest.

“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” the embassy said in its tweet.

Protesters across Lebanon blocked roads with burning tires on Friday and thousands marched in Beirut, calling on the government to resign over an economic crisis.