Jawad Hashem, former president of the 21-nation Arab Monetary Fund, was convicted in absentia in the embezzlement of about $72 million and was sentenced to 79 years in prison. His top three aides received long sentences, also in absentia. After a three-year trial, a criminal court in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, also ordered the four to repay the embezzled money. Hashem, 49, a former Iraqi Cabinet member reportedly living in Britain, has ignored repeated subpoenas to stand trial. He was in office from 1978 to 1982. The fund was formed by oil-rich Arab nations in 1977 to help achieve monetary integration and to aid poorer Arab nations.