Mubarak sons leave prison pending Egypt retrial

2015-01-23 14:30
File: AP

File: AP

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Cairo - Two sons of Egypt's ousted leader Hosni Mubarak seen as symbols of his era's corruption were freed from prison on Friday pending a graft retrial, state media reported.

Alaa and Gamal Mubarak left jail early on Friday after a court ordered their release because they had served the maximum pre-trial detention, the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported on its website.

Mubarak, who was unseated in Egypt's 2011 uprising, was convicted by a lower court on corruption charges with his two sons last year, with Alaa and Gamal receiving four-year sentences.

Their charges included embezzling at least $16m earmarked for the maintenance of presidential palaces.

Government critics

The retrial of the former leader and his two sons was ordered this month and their lawyer Farid al-Deeb said at the time that the elder Mubarak, who is in a military hospital, would also be a free man.

But state media reported there had been no orders yet for his release and there have been no signs of the 86-year-old leaving the hospital.

The release of the Mubaraks presents a dilemma for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former army chief whom opponents accuse of reviving Mubarak-era practices.

Sisi took power after ousting Egypt's first post-revolution leader - Islamist president Mohammed Morsi - in 2013 and won an election with massive support last year.

But he has faced accusations of being even more authoritarian than Mubarak, unleashing a crackdown on Morsi supporters that has killed at least 1 400 people.

The release of the Mubaraks so close to the 25 January anniversary of the 2011 revolt risks antagonising government critics.

Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  abdel fattah al-sisi  |  hosni mubarak  |  egypt  |  north africa

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