Just five months after walking out of Tora Prison as a free man, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and 12 of his colleagues are headed back to court on charges of squandering public funds during their time in office, the privately owned newspaper Al-Watan reported on Monday.
The ex-government officials are accused of misappropriating some LE1.8 billion in state funds by illicitly signing over bonuses to police officers and leading ministry figures during a period spanning from 2000 to 2011. Investigations into the case date back to 2012, and a travel ban was issued against the defendants in 2013.
According to Al-Watan, the Cairo Court of Appeals actually referred the men to trial before a criminal court three weeks ago, but the news only surfaced on Monday due to a gag order on the case.
Adly had been serving time on charges of illegal profiteering until he was acquitted by the Giza Criminal Court in March and released from jail.
The March ruling was just the most recent in a series of acquittals. In February, Adly and Mubarak-era Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif were acquitted of charges of squandering LE92 million in public funds by illegally granting a direct order to a contractor to fabricate license plates. He had originally been sentenced to five years in prison in that case.
In June 2014, Adly was also acquitted of graft and money laundering charges. He had been accused of making LE5 million from corrupt deals during his time in office, and was sentenced to 12 years in prison before the Court of Cassation overturned the ruling.
In the most prominent post-revolution case, in 2012 Adly and former President Hosni Mubarak were both sentenced to life in prison for orchestrating the murder of protesters during the 2011 demonstrations that ultimately led to the president’s downfall. The ruling was overturned in May 2013, and both men were found innocent in the subsequent retrial.