World Bulletin / News Desk
The two sons of Egypt's former president were back in court on Monday facing charges of stock market manipulation, five weeks after separate corruption charges against them were thrown out.
Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, with seven other men, were charged with violating stock market and central bank rules to make unlawful profits through dealing of shares in Al Watany Bank of Egypt.
Mubarak's eldest son, Alaa, is a businessman. His brother Gamal, a former banker, was widely viewed as being groomed for Egypt's top job until Mubarak was toppled in February 2011.
Wearing white prison uniforms, they sat in a steel cage reserved for defendants in the court at a Cairo police academy as a prosecution official read out details of the charges. The other executives wore suits.
"This has absolutely no basis in fact. I deny these charges in whole and in their details," Gamal Mubarak told the judge. His brother said: "Unfortunately, sir, this is all lies and defamation."
Mubarak, 84, was given a life sentence on June 2 in the first trial in an ordinary court of an Arab leader ousted in a popular uprising. Charges against his sons were dropped in that trial because a statute of limitation had expired.
Yasser El Mallawany and Hassan Heikal, board members and joint chief executives officers of investment bank EFG-Hermes , are also charged in the case.
Mallawany looked irritated and unsettled when the judge called his name. He stood after the judge called for him a second time and he rose to his feet, saying: "This hasn't happened sir. None of this is true."
EFG has said it is confident in the "soundness of its legal position" regarding the 2007 acquisition of Al-Watany by National Bank of Kuwait. EFG said it would defend the two executives against the accusations and said the operations of EFG-Hermes had not been affected.
Heikal did not appear in the dock.
Gamal Mubarak took an 18 percent stake in EFG's private equity arm when it was formed in 1997. EFG Hermes Private Equity accounts for no more than 7 percent of EFG Hermes Holding's total consolidated revenues, the bank said.
"We did nothing wrong," former Al-Watany general manager Hussein Fathy, who was not among the accused, told Reuters outside the court.
"When we were approached by the state's largest brokerage company, EFG Hermes, asking us if we would like to sell, we said OK as they made us a good offer," he added.
He said he did not know how Alaa and Gamal Mubarak were linked to the case.
The Mubaraks' lawyer Farid el-Deeb asked for his clients to be released, saying they were arrested for a misdemeanour and not a felony, meaning that, by law, they cannot be in prison for more than six months, which they have already served.
Farid el-Deeb also accused authorities of holding his clients without justification, saying they were being discriminated against simply because of their father's name.
"Why are they the only ones still behind bars? Everyone has been released but them. I ask you, why?" he told the court.
Egypt has witnessed 17 turbulent months since Mubarak's overthrow and has been run by a military council until Islamist President Mohamed Mursi took office on June 30.
Meanwhile, five Christian anti-balaka militiamen were killed Saturday in an attack on Kilometer 5, a predominantly Muslim district of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, eyewitnesses said.
An Egyptian court has ordered the release of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltag.
As recently as 2012, Hungary was found guilty of violating Article 5(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights by the European Court of Human Rights in regards to the detention of asylum seekers.
More than 300 Palestinian women participated in the protest, which was organized by a Qalandia women's association on the occasion of the International Women's Day.
Far-right Orthodox groups in Bulgaria have been calling on volunteers to fight in Ukraine for Russian forces.
European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said he did not believe Russia switching off Europe's gas supply would be in their interests.
Armed men are marking the homes of Crimean Tatars as the peninsula heads towards a referendum to join Russia, a move the Crimean Tatars oppose.
121 children are believed to have died in the drought-hit Thar desert şn the last three months.
Hosni Mubarak, his interior minister Habib al-Adly and six other Interior Ministry officials are accused of inciting the killing of hundreds of protesters during the January 25 revolution, which ended Mubarak's autocracy.
The Polish foreign ministry advised all Polish nationals to leave Crimea.
Last week, the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) announced the suspension of talks between Khartoum and the SPLM-N.
China will sell the Yuan-class diesel-electric submarines to its close regional ally in line with a contract that is already “in an advanced stage”.
Rebels who declared independence from the Tripoli government have started exporting oil.
In recent weeks, Egypt has repeatedly closed the Rafah crossing, which – due to an ongoing, eight-year Israeli siege – represents Gaza's only window to the outside world.
The Al-Nour clinic was raided and shut down by Mauritanian authorities on Friday and one of its workers was arrested.
Turkey close to finishing the long-awaited project that will supply water to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.