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In brief: Egypt charges former officials

CAIRO – Egypt’s ex-prime minister and two other former Cabinet members were charged with corruption Sunday in the latest step in a campaign to bring officials of Hosni Mubarak’s toppled regime to justice for years of corruption, rights abuses and other crimes.

Egypt’s attorney general for public funds charged former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, ex-Finance Minister Yousef Boutros Ghali and former Interior Minister Habib el-Adly with wasting more than $15 million in public money and profiteering.

The case centers on a deal with a German businessman. They are accused of granting him a contract to sell license plates in Egypt without opening up the deal to competitive bidding.

El-Adly is already facing trial on other corruption charges. Egypt’s protest movement also wants to see him prosecuted for rights abuses carried out by the internal security forces that were under his control.

Boutros Ghali, who is outside the country, is a nephew of former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

Nazif served as prime minister since 2004.

Iraqi police fire on protesters

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq – Iraqi police opened fire Sunday on stone-throwing crowds protesting government corruption in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region. At least 35 people were wounded, some of them by gunfire, a doctor said.

A day earlier, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki lauded Iraq’s security forces as ready to protect the country in a meeting with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

In Sulaimaniyah, located 160 miles northeast of Baghdad, witnesses said some police fired into the air to clear protesters blocking a road and others shot into the crowd. Seven people were shot, including two local journalists, said Sulaimaniyah health director Dr. Regald Hama Rasheed.

He said the other 28 people were wounded by thrown rocks or were hospitalized because of breathing problems from the tear gas.


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