Cairo: A Hosni Mubarak-era Cabinet Minister was on Sunday sentenced to three years in prison for corruption by an Egyptian criminal court here, becoming the latest senior member of the former regime to be convicted for graft.

The court sentenced Zohair Garana, former minister of tourism under toppled president Mubarak, to three years in jail after he was found guilty of issuing licenses to tourism
companies, despite being stripped of that authority and banned from doing so.

He was, however, found not guilty of causing deliberate damage to others' interests, another charge he faced, Ahram Online reported.

Garana had previously been handed a five-year prison sentence on May 10 after being found guilty of corruption and violation of auction laws when he bought land in Ain Sokhna, a Red Sea resort town.

The financial assets of the Garana's family were frozen for months, pending investigations into further accusations against them of illicit profiteering, but the decision was revoked midway through August.

Under Egyptian law, he will serve the longer of the two sentences.

Garana's conviction followed the sentencing of steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz who was handed down a 10-year prison sentence and fined about USD 11 million by a court here on Thursday.

A close aide of Mubarak's son Gamal, Ezz was convicted on corruption charges in a trial running parallel to that of Mubarak.

In the early days of last winter's revolution, protesters turned their anger on Ezz, looting and burning one of his properties in Cairo.

Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the leader of the governing military council and Mubarak's former Defence Minister, is expected to testify at a closed session of the trial on September 24, when he will be asked to shed light on Mubarak's role in the crackdown on protesters that left more than 800 dead in the final days of his 29-year-rule.

(Agencies)