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Monday, 09 December 2019

Egypt court upholds 3-year sentence against Mubarak on graft charges; will walk free

Prosecution is calculating Mubarak's time served; his lawyers say he has already completed the required three years in detention

Passant Darwish , Saturday 9 May 2015
Mubarak
Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak waves to his supporters outside the area where he is hospitalized during his birthday at Maadi military hospital on the outskirts of Cairo May 4, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
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A Cairo criminal court has upheld a three-year sentence against Mubarak on graft charges, but the former strongman will return home since he has served the full sentence, his defence team said.

The court also reduced a sentence on his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, to three years - down from four - in the same case on graft charges.

Mubarak's two sons, who were out on bail, were moved to Tora prison soon after the court verdict while the former autocrat returned to a military hospital in order for the prosecution to calculate their time served,  security sources told Ahram Online.

The Mubarak defence team stressed that the trio had spent the required detention period in jail, meaning they will be released as soon as the prosecution confirms this fact.

Mubarak was in jail from April 2011 to August 2013 awaiting trial in various cases, and was then transferred to Maadi military hospital where he remained under house arrest for a further while. His sons spent a longer period in Tora prison.

According to Egyptian law, pre-trial detention is counted as time served towards any possible sentence.

The court also issued the three with a fine of LE125 million and ordered them to return LE21 million to the state.

A statement by the prosecution is expected soon on the status of the three men. Both the defendants and the prosecution can appeal against the verdict.

Mubarak had initially received a three-year prison sentence in the case, and his sons four-year sentences each, but all three appealed the court ruling.

In May 2014, Mubarak, and his sons Alaa were originally convicted of embezzling LE125 million allocated for the upkeep of presidential palaces in order to develop their own private buildings.

In January, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak were released after serving the maximum period of preventative detention awaiting trials.

The two still face charges of corrupt stock exchange dealings in a separate case.

This graft trial has been the only case Mubarak, who was tried on various charges, has received a prison sentence in.

In November, a court threw out a case in which the deposed autocrat was accused of complicity in murdering protesters during the January 2011 protests that led to his downfall. Egypt’s Court of Cassation can still decide to accept or reject an appeal by the general prosecution on 4 June.

In the same month, Mubarak was also cleared in two other cases.

The 87-year-old was cleared from charges of profiteering from his position by accepting presents in the form of villas in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, as the 10-year statute of limitations had expired.

Graft charges were also dropped in a case in which he was accused of exporting natural gas to Israel at below market prices.

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