CAIRO, March 16 (Xinhua) -- An Egyptian criminal court acquitted Saturday former tourism and housing ministers Zuhair Garana and Ahmed al-Maghrabi of corruption charges, official news agency MENA reported.
The two ministers used to serve under ousted President Hosni Mubarak and were both accused of profiteering and illegally selling state-owned lands in the resorts of Ain Sokhna and Hurghada.
Many of Mubarak's former aides have either been acquitted or temporarily released over similar charges. In February, the Egyptian authorities released former chief of staff Zakaria Azmy according to a court order, as he had been temporarily detained for about 22 months although the maximum period of detention without conviction was 18 months.
Similarly, the Court of Cassation has recently accepted the appeals of former prime minister Ahmed Nazif, former interior minister Habib al-Adli and fugitive former finance minister Youssef Boutros Ghali, and decided to retry them over similar charges.
The court also released former Shura Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Safwat al-Sherif last week for exceeding 18 months in temporary custody over charges of corruption and illicit gains. Sherif was acquitted in October 2012 of involvement in an attack publicly known as "the Battle of the Camel," which killed at least 21 protesters and injured hundreds at Tahrir Square during the 2011 upheaval.
Top figures of former regime, including Mubarak himself, were arrested over different charges in the wake of the unrest that started in early 2011.