17:41 GMT20 January 2021
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    he overturning of convictions paves the way for the release of former president Mubarak and his sons four years after the uprisings which swept them from power.

    MOSCOW, January 22 (Sputnik) – An Egyptian court on Thursday ordered the release of Alaa and Gamal Mubarak from prison pending a retrial on corruption charges, officials in Egypt told AFP.

    Farid al-Deeb, the lawyer representing the brothers, told the agency they "were free to leave prison after the court order because they had served the maximum pretrial detention period," and said that former President Hosni Mubarak, who is currently staying in a military hospital, was similarly set to be freed but that his release had not been ordered.

    Mubarak, 86, and his sons Alaa, 53, and Gamal, 51, were convicted in May 2014 of the embezzlement of millions of dollars of public funds intended for the maintenance of presidential palaces, and instead allegedly used to renovate family properties. The ousted president was sentenced to three years in prison, and his sons to four years each, as well as being fined 21.1 million Egyptian pounds ($2.9 million) and ordered to repay 125 million Egyptian pounds ($17.6 million) to the state treasury.

    In 2012, Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison after being judged an accomplice in the killings of hundreds of unarmed demonstrators in the course of the protests which ended his rule in 2011. However, in November 2014, Mubarak was cleared of the charges by judge Mahmoud Kamel al-Rashidi, who according to the Guardian suggested Mubarak should be granted leniency because of his age. "To rule for or against him after he has become old will be left to history," said al-Rashidi when announcing the acquittal, adding that "the judge of judges [God] … will question him about his rule."

    Earlier this month, the court of appeal in Cairo ordered a retrial on the corruption charges after ruling that the conviction for embezzlement, the last remaining legal process against Hosni Mubarak, was unsafe. The AFP reports that although no order has yet been given for the former president's release from hospital in the capital, a police official said that the Cairo prison holding the brothers had received notice to free the pair.


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    corruption, Court, Hosni Mubarak, Egypt
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