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.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby downplayed any disconnect with the White House and said U.S. officials were constantly reviewing Syria options
Kiir will be accompanied on his visit by a number of South Sudanese government ministers and officials.
Announcement follows unprecedented talks between Myanmar’s military, political leaders, major opposition parties
Tension has run high across the occupied West Bank since the Wednesday shooting of an extremist Jewish rabbi in Jerusalem
A perforation made in a subterranean water source during mining activities seemed to have caused the flooding
Al-Ahram said Egyptian authorities asked Moussa Ibrahim to leave the country at the request of the Libyan government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni
A fire broke out at France's public radio headquarters in Paris, forcing live programmes off the air as staff evacuated the vast Paris complex where major building work has been underway
Rula Ghani, spouse of Afghanistan's new president Ashraf Ghani, have already critised some Islamic norms welcomed by Afghan society.
At least 300 ISIL militants were killed and scores of vehicles captured in clashes
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when Kiir accused sacked vice president Riek Machar of leading a failed coup attempt against his regime.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Burkina Faso on Friday to press President Blaise Compaore to step down, a day after the army dissolved parliament and announced a transitional government in the face of violent mass protests.
Erekat's statement came during a meeting with foreign officials in the West Bank city of Jericho
Catalan head Artur Mas plans to hold the Nov. 9 ballot, marshalled by volunteers, in place of a non-binding referendum on independence declared illegal by the Constitutional Court.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's comments show how the threat posed by ISIL has pushed some Shi'ites and Sunnis to overcome their sectarian differences and face a common enemy
The fresh violence comes amid rising tension in the holy city after Israel closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound
The absence of the three Muslim leaders means that only the majority Orthodox Christian countries will be represented