Former Egyptian minister gets life sentence

Former Egyptian finance minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali has been sentenced in absentia to life in prison.

Former Egyptian finance minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali was sentenced in absentia to life in prison.

CAIRO - Former Egyptian finance minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali was sentenced in absentia to life in prison in a corruption case on Tuesday, a Cairo criminal court source said.

Boutros-Ghali, whose uncle Boutros Boutros-Ghali was U.N. secretary-general from 1992 to 1996, served as finance minister under deposed President Hosni Mubarak.

In Tuesday's case, Boutros-Ghali had been accused of squandering 1.23 million pounds of public funds in a transaction involving coupons used for the distribution of subsidised cooking gas.

Many former officials have been convicted on graft and other charges since Mubarak fell in a 2011 uprising, but long, complicated legal proceedings have highlighted the difficulties of transitional justice in the country.

Mubarak, 84, was convicted last June along with former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli of failing to prevent the killings of more than 800 demonstrators.

Mubarak and al-Adli were both sentenced to life in prison, but the highest appeals court has ordered a retrial. The case is facing a delay after the presiding judge withdrew this month.