Egyptian court acquits Mubarak sons in stock exchange case

Cairo criminal court decided to acquit Alaa and Gamal Mubarak and six other defendants in stock market manipulation case over the 2007 sale of a bank.

CAIRO - An Egyptian court on Saturday acquitted two sons of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and six others in a case known in the Egyptian media as stock exchange manipulation.

Mubarak's sons were arrested in September 2018 for alleged stock market manipulation were released on bail days later.

A judicial official said that the Cairo criminal court decided to acquit Alaa and Gamal Mubarak and the other defendants. The brothers, who denied wrongdoing, attended Saturday's Cairo Criminal Court session which was held at a police academy for security reasons, and heard the verdict acquitting all the defendants.

Among those acquitted with them was prominent businessman Hassan Heikal, son of the late writer Mohammed Hassanein Heikal.

Since the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak, a number of legal proceedings have been launched against the three-decade ruler and his relatives.

The "stock exchange manipulation" case as it is known in Egypt dates back to 2012, when Egypt's state prosecutor referred the six suspects to court "for illegally obtaining more than two billion Egyptian pounds ($128.5 million)".

Mubarak's sons were accused of "profiting and obtaining illegal financial gains" from the process of selling the Al Watany Bank of Egypt to the National Bank of Kuwait in 2007.

The verdict puts an end to the judicial proceedings against Mubarak and his sons, although the public prosecution has the right to appeal, judicial sources said.

The brothers, who were both detained after the 2011 popular uprising, were sentenced to three years in jail in 2015, along with their father, after being separately convicted of diverting public funds and using the money to upgrade family properties.

However, the two brothers were released soon after the ruling because they had spent time in detention pending the case. Their father was freed in 2017 after being cleared of charges of ordering the killing protesters during the uprising.