Mubarak, ministers to pay fines for communications blackout in revolution

The Administrative Court ordered the payment of LE540 million by former president Hosni Mubarak, former prime minister Ahmed Nazif and former interior minister Habib al-Adly in compensation for the damage caused to the national economy when they ordered the suspension of internet and mobile phone services during the 25 January revolution.

According to the ruling, Mubarak will pay LE200 million, Adly 300 million, and Nazif 40 million. The ruling said the state treasury may review these amounts and request they be increased before the end of the fiscal year 2011/2012.

The court first examined the case in March. The plaintiff said the three mobile phone service operators in Egypt – Vodafone, Mobinil and Etisalat – violated their contractual obligations by severing service when Egyptians needed it most.

The companies were charged with assisting the former regime in suppressing the revolution, and the suspension of service was said to violate of Article 45 of the Constitution, which sanctifies the private lives of citizens and guarantees the confidentiality of correspondence and phone conversations, which may be restricted or monitored only by a judicial ruling and for a specific period of time.

The lawyer who filed the lawsuit called for the compensation to be used for the establishment of a civil institution concerned with education and scientific research.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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