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.
Francois Hollande criticizes Russia’s systematic vetoes at UN Security Council regarding Syrian crisis
Amid legal fight, senior UK minister tells parliament exit strategy will not be revealed before Article 50 is triggered
'It's a great honor. It means a lot,' Trump says shortly after announcement
The suggestion was made in clear jest on the Antonov company's Twitter account.
The 28-nation European Union -- with 22 members also belonging to NATO -- imposed economic sanctions on Russia after a Malaysian airliner was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine in July 2014.
Traffickers work as a network with collaborators in other countries to smuggle ivory, says South Sudan wildlife official
May has agreed to provide further details on her negotiating strategy before triggering the Article 50 exit process as long as MPs back her timetable and the result of the June referendum to leave the European Union.
President John Dramani Mahama seeks 2nd term in tight contest
Over 80 organizations linked to the terror group worldwide have been shut down or transferred to Turkish government
"We must... continue to confront state actors whose influence fuels instability in the region," May told Gulf leaders at the summit.
Ash Carter, Japanese counterpart reaffirm strength of bilateral alliance ahead of President-elect Trump's inauguration
Two high-ranking Ku Klux Klan leaders were arrested for stabbing a fellow KKK member before a victory parade for Donald Trump.
Clashes between army, insurgent group led to 31 deaths in central Congo this past weekend
Countries that have formal diplomatic ties with Beijing cannot enjoy such links with Taipei and vice versa. Both Beijing and Taipei in principle consider themselves the only legitimate power in charge of both China and Taiwan.
Second time in a year officer Lucas Jones cleared of using deadly force
‘We can get these terrorists and stay true to who we are’, outgoing US president says