Cairo: An Egyptian court on Saturday ordered ousted President Hosni Mubarak and his two ex-Ministers to pay USD 90 million for “damaging the economy” by enforcing a shutdown of telephone and Internet connections during the country’s popular uprising.

It is the first court ruling to be made against Mubarak since he was ousted on February 11 but he faces more serious charges, including ordering the killing of protesters, that could carry death penalty.

An Egyptian judge fined Mubarak and two other former officials -- former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and former Minister of the interior Habib al-Adly -- USD 90 million for government-imposed telecommunication disruptions during the uprising that was mainly triggered by online activists.

Internet and mobile phone services were cut for days when hundreds of thousands took to the streets in January to demand the ousting of the regime.

International mobile operators said they had no choice but to adhere with the security orders and shut down services in certain areas of the country as ordered.

Judge Hamdi Okasha ordered the fine as compensation for financial losses the nation incurred due to the telecommunication disruptions.

The court ruled that Mubarak, Nazif and al-Adly were guilty of “causing damage to the national economy” and the fines would be paid to the country’s treasury.

Mubarak, who is currently under arrest in hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh, and his two sons Alaa and Gamal, have been ordered to stand trial in a criminal court for killing protesters and allegations of corruption.

(Agencies)