Tag Archive: Egyptian president

Embezzlement charges

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Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak gets a second conviction since he was pushed from power in 2011 and sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling public funds.

The verdict, which may be appealed, comes as Mubarak, 86, is being retried in a separate case linked to the death of protesters during the mass uprising that toppled him. An earlier life sentence in that case was overturned, angering many who saw it as evidence that little had come of the promises of social justice and accountability that followed his removal.

Mubarak, “instead of following the rule of law and the constitution, allowed himself and his sons free rein with state funds to take whatever they want,” Judge Osama Shaheen said in a televised court hearing.

The court also sentenced the former autocrat’s two sons, businessman Alaa and one time heir-apparent Gamal, to four years in prison in the case, which is linked to funds allocated to refurbish presidential palaces.

The three were ordered to repay a cumulative 125.8 million Egyptian pounds (£10.5 million) to the state.

Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is also being re-trialled for deaths of protestors during mass protests against him

Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is also being re-trialled for deaths of protestors during mass protests against him

Mubarak has been held in a military hospital since the retrial. He has spent much of the past three years either in that facility or in the hospital ward of a Cairo prison.

The verdicts were handed down less than a week before new presidential elections are held to replace Mubarak’s Islamist successor, Mohamed Mursi, who was ousted in July. The front-runner is Abdel-Fattah Al-Seesi, the former army chief who pushed Mursi from office, whose only opponent is leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi.

Al-Seesi’s critics worry the field marshal will install a police state harsher than the one Mubarak developed during his 29-year rule. Al-Seesi has dismissed the concerns, triggered by a crackdown on Islamists and some activists.

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Referendum

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Ever since former Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, was ousted from his seat in July 2013, debate has run wild in the country in regard to who should rightfully be considered as the ‘leader’.

Egypt’s current Military-lead authority ordered a referendum to put the matter to bed yet when the opposition party boycotted the vote, it was always going to be a one horse race.

The referendum was held on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, with a turnout rate of just 39 per cent in most provinces as Muslim Brotherhood supporters declined the opportunity to vote.

The government had hoped for a larger turnout from the 53million registered voters who had initially approved a constitution under Morsi in 2012.

VOTE: Whilst millions did turn out to vote, more than half of registered voters did not with many boycotting the referendum in support of the Muslim Brotherhood

VOTE: Whilst millions did turn out to vote, more than half of registered voters did not with many boycotting the referendum in support of the Muslim Brotherhood

In comparison, the Muslim Brotherhood had hoped a low turnout would send a message of discontent over Morsi's overthrow and the crackdown on his supporters.

On Tuesday, clashes between Morsi supporters and their opponents and police killed at least nine people and at least 444 people were arrested for protesting and disrupting polling, officials said.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief who toppled Morsi following mass protests against his one-year rule, was also monitoring the vote for a sign of support as he mulls running for the presidency.

It was the first vote since Morsi's ouster, and authorities say the new constitution provides greater protection for freedom of speech and women's rights than the one adopted under him.

The president's spokesman Ehab Badawy remarked, on the ‘high turnout in the referendum’, that it was a ‘beautiful day for Egypt and democracy’.

“This was also a referendum on June 30,” said government spokesman Hany Salah, referring to the day when millions of protesters took to the streets demanding Morsi's resignation.

The official results are expected on Saturday.

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