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Global outcry over sentence for ex-World-Bank leader

More than 200 leading scientists and politicians have expressed dismay over the imprisonment of Ismail Serageldin, founding director of the Library of Alexandria and former vice-president of the World Bank.

Serageldin was sentenced to three-and-a-half years of imprisonment for financial misdemeanours by an Egyptian court on 31 July. He has described the accusations as “politically motivated”.

On 13 September, Serageldin’s supporters published a letter of protest signed by 90 Nobel laureates, 20 current and former heads of state and almost 150 other prominent scientists and public figures. South African novelist J M Coetzee and the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, were among the signatories.

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