Saturday, October 31, 2015

Court orders release of Mubarak's sons after acquitting them of corruption charges

Associated Press

Egypt court orders release of Hosni Mubarak's sons

Gamal and Alaa Mubarak were detained in 2011 after their father stood down as president and will be freed due to time already served

Monday 12 October, 2015

A court in Egypt has ordered the release from prison of the sons of the country’s former president Hosni Mubarak, taking into account the time they have already served.

The Cairo criminal court ordered the release of Gamal, Mubarak’s one-time heir apparent, and his brother Alaa, a wealthy businessman, after they were both sentenced in May to three years in prison in a corruption case dubbed the presidential palaces affair by the Egyptian media.

They were first detained in April 2011, two months after their father stepped down during a popular uprising against his three decades in power, but were freed in January on bail before being convicted in May along with Mubarak, who is being held in a military hospital.

The trio’s conviction, which came after a retrial, was for embezzling millions of dollars in state funds over a decade, diverting money meant to pay for renovating and maintaining presidential palaces to upgrade their private residences.

Gamal and Alaa are also facing trial on insider trading charges, with the next hearing in October. They are expected to walk free later on Monday.

During sentencing in May, the three men were ordered to pay 125m Egyptian pounds (£10.4m) and return 21m Egyptian pounds they embezzled. After the hearing, judicial and security officials said those amounts had already been paid by the Mubaraks after their first trial.

Many Egyptians view the brothers as key symbols of an autocratic and corrupt administration that struck an alliance with the mega-wealthy at the expense of the poor.

The rise of the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who has vowed stability after four years of unrest and taken a tough line against dissent, has encouraged Mubarak supporters and upended the public perception and media depiction of the 2011 uprising.

Political activists are now often cast as troublemakers or foreign agents and hundreds of the young activists who sparked the revolt four years ago are either in prison on charges of breaking a new protest law or have left the country.

*Photo courtesy of ONA news agency

No comments: