Court postpones hearing appeal in communications blackout case

The Supreme Administrative Court on Monday postponed hearing the appeal submitted by the defense team for ousted President Hosni Mubarak, former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly against a court ruling that found them guilty of cutting off telecommunications during the 25 January revolution.

In May 2011, an administrative court sentenced the three defendants to collectively pay a fine of US$540 million after finding them guilty of the charges. The defendants then filed an appeal.

In its ruling, the court said that cutting off communication services was a violation of freedom of expression and the right to communicate. It went on to say that the five-day communication blackout did not benefit national security as the defendants claimed, and instead caused US$90 million in damages to the economy, representing a loss of some US$18 million per day.

On Monday, the court also fined Communications and Information Technology Minister Mohamed Salem LE400 pounds for failing to submit a number of documents related to the case. The court ordered Salem to provide the documents requested in several previous sessions.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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