From Youssra EL-Sharkawy Cairo, May 9: Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons were today sentenced to three years in prison by a criminal court in a retrial of a corruption case against them.
Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, who were present in the caged dock, wearing suits and sunglasses, were also fined USD 17.9 million, the amount they were accused of embezzling from funds meant for the maintenance of presidential palaces.
They were charged with acquiring about USD 17.9 million from the presidential palace budget and using the money for the construction and development of family-owned assets.
They also forged official documents and willfully damaged public property. Mubarak, who turned 87 this month, was handed down a three-year prison sentence and his sons four years each in the case last May, but an appeal court, in January, overturned the original verdict and and ordered a retrial.
Mubarak, who ruled Egypt with an iron fist for 30 years, and his sons may not have to serve any jail time in the corruption case because they already spent that amount of time in prison in other cases. As Judge Hassan Hassanin announced the verdict, Mubarak's supporters wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the former leader's face shouted in anger.
Mubarak's lawyers may try to appeal the verdict. The three had all been arrested in 2011, months after Mubarak was toppled in a popular 18-day uprising after three decades in power.
The former dictator and his seven former security commanders, including former interior minister Habib al-Adly, were acquitted in November last year by a lower court, of the charges of killing anti-government protesters during the 2011 revolution.
The prosecution later filed an appeal against that verdict. The Court of Cassation has set June 4 as the verdict date on a prosecution's plea against dropping murder charges against the ex-president. The Muslim Brotherhood leader has been sentenced to 20 years in prison over deadly clashes outside his palace during his year in power.