The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced ousted president Hosni Mubarak to three years in a maximum security prison on Wednesday on embezzlement charges.
Sons Gamal and Alaa were also sentenced to four years each in a maximum security prison. Collectively, they were fined EGP 125m and are required to repay EGP 21m.
Mubarak and his two sons Alaa and Gamal are charged with acquiring almost EGP 126m from the presidential palace budget and using the money for the construction and development of family-owned assets.
They are also charged with forging official documents and willfully damaging public property.
According to state-owned Al-Ahram, the period Mubarak and his sons spent in preventive detention will be deducted from their sentence period; however, defence will appeal the verdict.
The toppled president was returned to hospital after the trial, reported Al-Ahram, as sending him to prison requires an order from the prosecution and approval by a medical committee.
Mubarak, 85, has remained in a military hospital in Cairo since he was freed from prison in August after the maximum pre-trial detention period expired.
“Three years is the minimum punishment for these charges. It is obvious that the judiciary is attempting to save its distorted image and satisfy public opinion,” said lawyer Amr Imam.
“How could they [the judiciary] equate the punishment for Mubarak’s 30 years of corruption with violating the Protest Law?” Imam said.
Four other defendants in the case, charged with aiding Mubarak and his sons to embezzle public funds, were assigned to another specialised court.
The three defendants have consistently denied all charges in the various cases for which they are being tried.
On 11 February 2011 former vice president Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak had stepped down from presidency. The prosecution ordered Mubarak’s first detention period in April 2011 after receiving reports involving the killing of protesters during 18-day uprising in 2011, abuse of power and corruption. He was referred to criminal court the following month.
Labelled “The Trial of the Century”, the first session took place on 4 August 2011, where the former president, his sons and former minister of interior Habib El-Adly and six of his aides were charged with ordering the killing of the protesters.
The former president was convicted in June 2012 and sentenced to life imprisonment, but a court ordered a retrial in 2013 on technical grounds.
Besides the killing and embezzlement cases, Mubarak is being tried for graft and receiving gifts from national journalism institutions.