File Photo: Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak sits inside a dock in April at the Police Academy on the outskirts of Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
Former president Hosni Mubarak's appeal against a conviction for embezzling public funds was rejected on Saturday, making him the first Egyptian president to be convicted of corruption as the ruling now is final and cannot be further challenged.
The ruling also means that Mubarak will be deprived of privileges granted to former presidents according to Egyptian law.
"Mubarak will be deprived of special privileges such as a special security crew allocated to ex-presidents, as well as some honours which come with an annual income," lawyer Amr Emam with the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre told Ahram Online.
Mubarak's sons Alaa and Gamal were also defendants, and all three men received jail sentences and fines in the case, known in the domestic media as the “presidential palaces case”, which saw them charged with embezzling LE125 million of public funds originally allocated for the upkeep of presidential buildings.
The ruling means the two men, former heir-apparent Gamal and wealthy businessman Alaa, will not be allowed to return to the political arena in the foreseeable future. "His two sons will be prohibited from practicing politics for five years," Emam added.
However, none of the trio will spend time behind bars after the rejection of the appeal, since they spent more than four years in custody following the ouster of Mubarak in 2011. The ruling gave them credit for time served.
In an initial verdict in May 2014, the trio were fined a total of LE125 million and required to pay an additional LE21 million to the state.
At the time, Mubarak received a three-year prison sentence in the case while his sons both received four years; the younger men's sentences were reduced to three years on appeal.
The three-year jail sentences have already been served during the trio's time in pre-trial detention, and given this Gamal and Alaa Mubarak were released in May 2015. Their father returned to Maadi Military Hospital where he currently resides.
This is the final appeal in the presidential palaces case.
In November 2014, 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 of 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.