Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted by popular protests in 2011, has been sentenced to three years in jail for embezzling from the government. His sons Alaa and Gamal were also charged with graft, and are each sentenced to four years. The three were fined nearly $3 million altogether, and were ordered by the court to repay about $17.6 million they allegedly stole from public funds.
In 2012, Mubarak was found guilty of conspiring to kill protesters and began serving a life sentence in prison. But the ruling was overturned in 2013 due to technicalities, and he was sent from jail a military hospital in August of last year. Mubarak is now again on trial for that charge, and for abuse of power.
Writing in the Egyptian online newspaper Mada Masr, Hossam Bahgat explained how Mubarak diverted public funds toward personal use:
All of the construction, renovation and purchasing orders [whistle-blowing military officer Amr Khedr] processed were for private properties of the Mubaraks and therefore could not be covered or reimbursed from public funds. But he was instructed to misrepresent these expenditures so that they could be listed under maintenance work for telecommunication towers around the country that provided secure communication lines for the president.
Mubarak firmly denied the embezzlement charges when they were first made back in February, saying the allegation was "completely unsubstantiated because it never happened." The sentencing comes days before Egyptians take to the polls to vote for a president to replace the (more recently) ousted Mohamed Morsi.
It's unclear whether the time Mubarak has already spent in prison will be counted towards this sentence, or where he will serve out the sentence.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.