Wednesday’s papers: Fiqqi, Boutros-Ghali and Maghrabi innocent

Independent and state-owned newspapers focus Wednesday on the Cairo Criminal Court's acquittal of three former ministers, Anas al-Fiqqi, Youssef Boutros-Ghali and Ahmed al-Maghrabi, Tuesday on charges of squandering public funds.

It also released Osama al-Sheikh, the head of the Radio and Television Union, and sentenced former Industry and Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid to five years in prison in absentia.

Public prosecutors had accused Boutros-Ghali, the former finance minister, and Fiqqi, the former information minister, of spending LE36 million in public funds on publicity for National Democratic Party candidates during the 2010 parliamentary election.

Former Housing Minister Maghrabi was charged with selling 113 feddans of state-owned land in 6th of October City to Akhbar al-Youm Investment at a price lower than its fair value.

State-owned Al-Ahram downplayed the significance of the news by wrapping it into a story about former President Hosni Mubarak's secretary, Gamal Abdel Aziz, and the secretary's wife being prevented from leaving the country.

On page three, Al-Akhbar writes that Mubarak is in poor physical and psychological condition and has been on a ventilator for the past two days.

Leftist opposition paper Al-Wafd writes on its front page that the attorney general will appeal the ruling, which was met with waves of rage in Tahrir Square.

The newspaper also reports on the Khaled Saeed case, writing that an initial forensic report found that the young Alexandrian was killed and that the piece of marijuana police say he choked on was forcefully put in his mouth after his death. However, a second forensic report revealed the first one was not done by a qualified forensic doctor, according to the paper.

The independent newspaper Al-Dostour writes that Shama village in Monufiya Governorate has become a small war zone after a well-known weapon and drug dealing family opened fire at a village funeral, killing four and wounding dozens.

State-owned Al-Ahram writes that 23 political parties and groups are expected to join protests planned for 8 July. However, Islamists including the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis will abstain.

On its first page, Al-Akhbar reports that police and armed forces arrested 84 drug dealers in Ezbet al-Arab in the Gabal al-Khadar area of Nasr City.

On the same page, Saeed Ismail Ali writes that political reform should be prioritized before educational reform. He writes that education, democracy and justice make up the triangle of reform.

Egypt's papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Arab Nasserist party

Youm7: Weekly, privately owned

Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned

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