Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Sunday, 28 September 2008 13:50 UK

Egyptian editor's jail term cut

Ibrahim Issa (28 February 2007)
Mr Issa is well known for his criticism of President Mubarak

An appeals court in Egypt has ordered newspaper editor Ibrahim Issa to be jailed for two months for publishing rumours about the president's health.

The ruling reduces the sentence of the editor of al-Dustour from the six months imposed at his earlier trial.

Mr Issa said the verdicts were unjustified, and showed that Egypt was inhibiting freedom of expression.

The government says the false rumours about the health of Hosni Mubarak damaged Egypt's economy.

Mr Issa was charged with disturbing the peace and harming the economy after his independent daily newspaper published several stories in 2007 saying Mr Mubarak was dead or seriously ill. One alleged that Mr Mubarak sometimes lapsed into comas.

State prosecutors said the false rumours published by Mr Issa about the 79-year-old's health prompted investors to take $350m (172m) out of the Egyptian economy in less than a week.

Mr Mubarak has ruled Egypt for more than 25 years and Mr Issa is a long time critic of the president.

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