Cairo: Egyptian state television has begun broadcasting live coverage of the corruption trials of officials who served under President Hosni Mubarak. Scheduled programmes were interrupted to show former Information Minister Anas al-Fiqi and the former head of state TV, Usamah al-Sheikh, in court. Meanwhile, PM Essam Sharaf was taken to hospital for low blood pressure, although he is now said to be stable.
Mr Sharaf is in the middle of a cabinet reshuffle demanded by protesters.
His new ministers had been due to be sworn in on Monday, but the event was postponed.
The move to broadcast the former officials’ trials live follows pressure from the opposition for greater transparency in the post-revolution justice process.
Mr Fiqi and Mr Sheikh are accused of losing Egypt at least $2m (£1.3m) of revenue by corruptly giving away the right to broadcast the Egyptian football league by satellite.
The court said Mr Fiqi, who denied the charges, had done this in his “personal interests as part of an attempt to impose his control and media policies on these stations”.
Former President Hosni Mubarak is due in court next month but reports say he is seriously ill.
Other trials of members of the former regime have already taken place.
Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif received a one-year suspended jail term, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly was given five years and former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali was sentenced in absentia to 10 years, all on corruption charges.
But the process has until now been opaque, with few members of the public admitted and verdicts emerging from closed door hearings.
The broadcast meets some of the demands of the opposition and the protesters who have once more gathered in the capital’s Tahrir Square, the scene of the mass demonstrations earlier this year.