December 26, 2014
Egypt: Mubarak sentenced to three years in jail
An Egyptian court has sentenced ousted president Hosni Mubarak to three years in prison on charges of stealing public funds.
"Instead of abiding by the constitution and laws, he gave himself and his sons the freedom to take from public funds whatever they wanted to without oversight and without regard," said Judge Osama Shaheen, as Mubarak looked on from a cage flanked by his sons, who were sentenced to four years in jail on the same charges.
But the 23 months Mubarak had spent in jail since the 2011 uprising up to August, when he left prison for house arrest, could be applied against the sentence, meaning the former president will probably serve no more than a year as punishment for the corruption charges.
His sons, who have already spent three years in jail, will also have to serve only one more year to complete their sentence.
Four other defendants in the case were acquitted.
The embezzled funds had been assigned for the renovation of presidential palaces but instead were spent on sprucing up family properties.
Mubarak's former intelligence chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is poised to be elected president next week in polls that could bolster the legitimacy of a military-backed government.
The verdict may please some Egyptians who lived through three decades of autocracy under Mubarak, but analysts say that business executives still loyal to him remain influential. Rights groups say that abusive practices of the Mubarak regime are alive and well as another former military man prepares to take the reins of power.