Jailed sons of Egypt’s deposed leader Hosni Mubarak freed
CAIRO — Egypt freed the sons of deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak from prison on Monday, taking into account time already served on a corruption conviction.
The Cairo criminal court ordered the release of Gamal, Mubarak’s one-time heir apparent, and his brother, Alaa, a wealthy businessman, after each was sentenced in May to three years in prison in a corruption case dubbed the ‘‘presidential palaces’’ affair by the Egyptian media.
The two were first detained in April 2011, two months after their father stepped down during a popular uprising against his three-decades’ rule, but were freed in January on bail before being convicted in May along with their father, who remains held in a military hospital.
The three were convicted of embezzling millions of dollars’ worth of state funds over the course of a decade, diverting money meant to pay for renovating and maintaining presidential palaces to upgrade their private residences.
The sons also face trial on insider trading charges, with the next hearing in October.
Last summer’s sentencing included a $16.3 million fine to be paid by the three men, and required the return of $2.7 million they embezzled. After the hearing, judicial and security officials said those amounts had been paid by the Mubaraks following their first trial.
Many Egyptians view the brothers as key symbols of an autocratic and corrupt administration that struck an alliance with the mega-wealthy at the expense of the poor.
The rise of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who vowed stability after four years of unrest and has taken a tough line against dissent, has encouraged Mubarak supporters and upended the public perception and media depiction of the 2011 uprising.
Political activists are now often cast as troublemakers, and hundreds of the young activists who sparked the 2011 revolt are either languishing in prison or have left the country.