Cairo Criminal court acquitted Ahmed Shafiq and Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, sons of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, in a case in which they were facing charges of misuse of public funds. Other acquitted defendants in the case included Major General Mohamed Helmy and Major General Mohamed Kamal Al-Islam.
Shafiq who was acquitted in absentia, have not been in Egypt since the summer of 2012, shortly, following his election loss to ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
Former prime minister and presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq and Mubarak’s sons, along with other defendants, were being tried for selling 40,000 square metres of land below market prices to former regime officials, including Alaa and Gamal through the Pilots Land Association. The land was reportedly sold for 75 piasters per square metre in contrast with the market price of EGP 8 at the time.
The defence had previously argued that the case should be closed due to statute of limitations and that the criminal court did not have the jurisdiction to rule on the case, claiming that the trial should have been held in military court, as the land in question was owned by the armed forces.
The court also dropped its case against former Pilots Land Association chairman Major General Nabil Fareed Shoukry and Major General Mohamed Reda Abdel Hamid, former secretary of the association, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.
Shafiq who fled to the United Arab Emirates was acquitted in a separate case in April this year in which he was also facing charges of wasting public money, also through the Pilots Land Association. He is blacklisted but Interpol disregarded a previous request by former Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah to arrest the former regime figure.
Shafiq faces another corruption trial and has not publicly said whether he would return and run in elections this year if acquitted of all charges.
The verdict in Shafiq’s last remaining case is expected later on Thursday, his lawyer Farid al-Deeb told AFP. An acquittal should allow him to return to Egypt
Alaa and Gamal Mubarak will both remain in detention and still face corruption charges relating to further pending charges.