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September 25, 2021

Mubarak and sons detained amid corruption probe

CAIRO – Egypt’s prosecutorgeneral has ordered the detentionof former President HosniMubarak, ahead of an investigationinto corruption and abuseallegations, BBC reports.

Mr Mubarak, 82, is in hospitalafter reportedly sufferingheart problems. His detentionorder will be in place for 15 days,state TV reported. His sons Alaaand Gamal have also beendetained amid allegations of corruptionand violence, police say.

Mr Mubarak stood down inFebruary after a popular uprisingagainst his rule. Since then, tensof thousands of protesters havestaged weekly Friday protests inCairo’s Tahrir Square, demandingthat he stand trial.

At least 360 people arethought to have been killed duringthe protests, as police openedfire and cracked down on thecrowds. Rights groups say the figureis much higher. There are alsowidespread allegations of corruptionand abuse of power underMr Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

“The prosecutor generalorders the detention of formerPresident Hosni Mubarak andhis sons Gamal and Alaa for 15days pending investigation afterthe prosecutor general presentedthem with the current state of itsongoing investigations,” said apost on the prosecutor general’sFacebook page on Wednesday.

The announcement came aday after Mr Mubarak had beenadmitted to hospital with heartproblems, although reports indicatedthat he was well enough toundergo questioning.

The former Egyptian leaderhad been keeping a low profile inSharm el-Sheikh, a Red Sea resort,after fleeing to his holiday villathere when he was overthrown.

Late on Tuesday, a crowd ofabout 2,000 people had gatheredoutside the hospital, demandingthat the sons be arrested. As apolice van with drawn curtainstook away the two brothers forquestioning, the crowd pelted itwith water bottles, stones andtheir flip-flops, the AP newsagency reported.

On Wednesday morning thepair were transferred to Toraprison complex in Cairo, home toother fallen officials and and someof the country’s most notoriouspolitical prisoners. Speculationthat the younger son, Gamal, wasbeing groomed to take over fromhis father helped to galvaniseEgypt’s protest movement.

Gamal, an investment banker,was a high-ranking member ofPresident Mubarak’s ruling party.His close associates were billionairesand held top positions in theruling party and the government.

Mr Mubarak, along with hissons and their wives, have beenbanned from leaving the country.The family’s assets havebeen frozen.In a pre-recorded audio messageon Sunday, he broke hissilence of the last two months tosay his reputation and that of hissons had been damaged and hewould work to clear their names.

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