Overthrown Egypt President Hosini Mubarak was fined over $33 million US dollars by his country’s court for cutting off access to the internet and mobile communications during the protests earlier this year. Muburak was found guilty of causing damage to the economy.
The Egyptian “administrative court fined Mubarak 200 million Egyptian pounds, former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif 40 million pounds, and former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli 300 million pounds,” Reuters reported. “The court ruled that Mubarak, Nazif and Adli were guilty of “causing damage to the national economy” and the fines would be paid to the country’s treasury.”
Mubarak and his two sons are also to be tried for the deaths of hundreds of protesters, ABC News reported.
The court action shows the importance of access to communications for businesses and how interfering with it should not be at the whim of an authoritarian leader trying to stop free speech. Business in most cities in Egypt had a hard time during the protests and the government did not help.
“Telecoms operator Vodafone said in January it and other mobile operators had no option but to comply with an order from the authorities to suspend services in selected areas of the country during the peak of the anti-government demonstrations,” Reuters noted.
It shows the value the people of Egypt place on their access to communications that these added charges have been made while the trial for murdering protesters has not yet started. How the money will be collected had not been determined.