World article on Egypt candidates file appeals, cite fraud in vote regarding Court, Mubarak, Gamal, Corruption, Years, Mubarak, Faced, Killing, Official, Million, Regime, Mubarak, Ruling, Pounds, Millionazmi, Convicted, Verdict, Egypt
Three top candidates in Egypt's presidential race have filed appeals to the election commission, alleging violations in the first round vote that they say could change the outcome.
A criminal court on Sunday convicted one of Hosni Mubarak's closest aides of corruption and sentenced him to seven years in prison, Egypt's official news agency reported.
It said the court also fined Zakaria Azmi 36.3 million pounds ($6 million).
Azmi was Mubarak's chief of staff. For most of his 29 years in office, the former president was rarely seen in public without Azmi standing by his side. Azmi was also a lawmaker and a senior member of Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party. Azmi, who is in his 70s, was known to have supported a plan for Mubarak's son Gamal to succeed his father.
Egypt's official Middle East News Agency said the court established that Azmi used his position to make illicit gains of 42.6 million pounds ($7 million).
Azmi is one of some three dozen key figures of the Mubarak regime in detention facing corruption charges. Some have already been sentenced, while others are on trial. The group includes two former prime ministers, the ex-speaker of parliament and several wealthy businessmen and Cabinet ministers who were close to Gamal Mubarak as stalwarts of the now-dissolved ruling party.
Sunday's verdict against Azmi came less than a week before a court was due to issue its verdict in the trial of Mubarak, who faced charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the popular uprising that toppled his regime last year. Mubarak, along with Gamal and his other son, Alaa, also faced corruption charges.
Mubarak could receive the death penalty if convicted in the killing of the protesters.