Mubarak lawyer says he will appeal embezzlement ruling
Former president Hosni Mubarak during his trial - YOUM7/Hassan Muhammed
By: MUHAMMAD GHAMRAWY

CAIRO: Fared el-Deeb, the lawyer for ousted President Hosni Mubarak, said he will appeal a court ruling issued against Mubarak and his sons Wednesday.

Cairo Criminal Court Wednesday sentenced Mubarak to three years in prison on charges of embezzling 125 million EGP ($17 million) in public funds to finance private palaces.

Deeb told The Cairo Post that Mubarak’s health is “deteriorating” and that he was concerned that Mubarak may be moved from the Maadi Military Hospital to Tora Prison. Deeb said the attorney general formed a committee to determine if Mubarak’s health condition allows him to move to Tora prison or if he should stay at the hospital.

The court also sentenced Mubarak’s two sons, Alaa and Gamal, to four years in prison on the same charges, fined all three defendants 125 million EGP and ordered they pay 21 million EGP to the state’s public fund.

Today’s ruling was criticized by some political figures and movements. The April 6 Youth Movement called it a “weak verdict” considering “Mubarak is the cause of all disasters currently facing Egypt,” according to the group.

In a similar tone, politician Ayman Nour, a former Mubarak opponent, denounced the court ruling and said on his Twitter account that it is a “new innocence” for Mubarak.

But some Mubarak loyalists insisted the former president was guiltless and was being made a scapegoat.

The “Ana Asef Ya Rayes”, or “I am Sorry Mr. President” Facebook page released a statement expressing their respect for the court ruling, and added they are waiting to see what legal steps will be taken by Mubarak’s lawyer.

“President Mubarak and his sons are paying the price for any event that takes place,” the group said. “We are confident in [their] innocence.”

In June 2013, the Supreme State Security Prosecution referred Mubarak and his sons to the criminal court over allegations they misappropriated 125 million EGP for the renovation of presidential palaces.

The Mubaraks were originally referred to the court over charges in the embezzlement case in June 2013. In November 2013, after conducting investigations, the Supreme Public Funds Prosecution added four new suspects to the case: Mohie Eddin Abdel Hakeem and Amr Mahmoud Mohamed Khedr, engineers for the presidency, and Abdel Hakeem Mansour and Magda Ahmed Hassan, engineers at the Arab Contractors company.

These four suspects face charges of facilitating funds for the benefit of Mubarak’s family to spend on their private villas in Heliopolis, Orabi, Katameya, Sharm el-Sheikh and Marina from 2002-2011.

In August, the former president was released after exceeding the two-year maximum detention time without trial according to Egyptian law.  However, his two sons are still jailed.

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