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Mubarak sentenced to three years in prison for corruption

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An Egyptian court sentenced the country’s deposed president Hosni Mubarak to three years in prison Wednesday on charges of embezzlement, while his sons Gamal and Alaa both received four year terms for the same crime.

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“The court orders Mohamed Hosni Mubarak to be sent to jail for three years,” Judge Osama Shaheen pronounced as Mubarak looked on from a cage flanked by his sons.

The three men were found guilty of stealing millions of dollars in public funds over the course of a decade.

The money was intended to finance the renovation and maintenance of presidential palaces, but was instead appropriated to upgrade the family’s private residences.

Mubarak and his sons were also fined 21.197 million Egyptian pounds ($2.98 million/ 2.17 million euros) and ordered to repay about 125 million Egyptian pounds (91 million euros) of funds the court said they had stolen.

“He should have treated people close and far from him equally,” Shaheen said. “Instead of abiding by the constitution and laws, he gave himself and his sons the freedom to take from public funds whatever they wanted to without oversight and without regard.”

Four other defendants in the case were acquitted.

The former president has been under house arrest at a military hospital since August pending retrial in a case of complicity in killing protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his rule.

It was not immediately clear if the three years Mubarak and his sons have already spent in jail would be counted towards their sentences, or if Mubarak would return to the army hospital or be sent to prison.

Gamal, once widely seen as Mubarak’s successor, and his brother were part of a strong patronage network that entrenched a system of “crony capitalism” that enriched an elite few while tens of millions of Egyptians lived in poverty.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

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