Hosni Mubarak’s two sons released from prison

The two adult sons of former President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt were released from jail early Monday, just one day after the fourth anniversary of the revolt that cast them down from the pinnacle of power.ggSuccessive rulings by appeals courts have now dismissed or overturned all of the convictions that had held Mr. Mubarak and both of his sons in jail or detention. The release of Alaa Mubarak, 53, and his brother, Gamal, 51, was ordered last week, pending their retrial on corruption charges, and they were let out on an undisclosed amount of bail early Monday.

Mr. Mubarak, 86, remains confined to a military hospital overlooking the Nile, although the legal reasons for holding him are no longer clear.

The release appears to be a display of confidence by the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi that it could either weather or control any potential backlash, analysts said.There was little immediate reaction on Monday, perhaps in part because a false report of the release of Mr.

Mubarak’s sons had circulated for a time last week and inoculated the public. Egypt also has virtually no private news media outlets that do not support the government.

“Strange paradox that they are let free on Jan. 25,” the anniversary of the revolt, Mahmoud Saad, a pro-government talk show host, noted on his program at the first false reports of the release of Mr. Mubarak’s sons.

“I have no opinion,” he added. “The judiciary is independent and can do what it wants.”

Both sons were widely resented for the wealth they appeared to have amassed through family connections. Gamal Mubarak, in particular, was reviled even more widely than his father during the last years of Mr. Mubarak’s tenure.

A former investment banker, Gamal had been elevated by his father to a dominant position in Egypt’s governing party. The former president appeared to be grooming him for a hereditary succession to the presidency, perhaps in the elections that had been scheduled for 2011 before the Arab Spring interfered.

Gamal Mubarak championed liberalizing and privatizing economic overhauls that many Egyptians believed had abetted the accumulation of vast wealth by his family and its cronies at the public’s expense.

If he had become president, he would have been the first with no military rank or experience — that distinction went instead to Mohamed Morsi, who was elected in June 2012 and ousted in 2013.

Many analysts close to Egypt’s top generals say that Gamal Mubarak was seen as an unqualified interloper as well as a threat to their privileges and interests.Alaa Mubarak, another investment banker, stayed out of politics.

Previous post-Mubarak governments, whether under Mr. Morsi or the top generals, have appeared to scramble to bring new charges or used other legal pretexts to keep the three Mubaraks in custody. But under Mr. Sisi, the government has shown no such concerns about public reaction, even allowing the juxtaposition of the release of the Mubarak brothers with the anniversary commemorations of the revolt against them.

Separately, Egyptian officials said on Monday that the death toll from clashes with the police on Sunday, the day of the anniversary, had risen to at least 23, including three police conscripts and 20 civilians. One of the police officers died in clashes with protesters, and two were killed in an attack on their car on a highway, security officials said.-Africa Metro

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