CAIRO (AP) — Scores of Egyptian former ministers, state officials and diplomats have rallied in defense of the former head of the Library of Alexandria who was sentenced earlier this month to three years in prison on charges of squandering public funds.

Over 150 signatories expressed support for Ismail Serrag Eddin, founding director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, in a joint statement Wednesday, saying they value his work for the library.

It's unclear what — beyond a public show of support — the statement seeks to accomplish.

Among the signatories is former Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and Africa's nominee for UNESCO, Moushira Khattab.

Eddin was accused by library employees of wasting 20 million Egyptian pounds, about $356 million, by paying hefty salaries to top advisers and privately traveling abroad at the library's expense.