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Mubarak embezzlement trial adjourned till March 19

Posted on Feb 19 2014 | IANS

Cairo, Feb 19 : An Egyptian court Wednesday adjourned the trial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak and his two sons Alaa and Gamal over charges of looting funds allocated for maintaining the presidential palaces till March 19, media reported.

The Mubaraks, along with other four defendants, were accused of embezzling 125 million Egyptian pounds (USD 17.9 million) earmarked for the renovation of the presidential palaces, Xinhua reported citing official news agency MENA .

Mubarak and his two sons used the public money for building and decorating their private villas and offices, the prosecution said.

The presiding judge, Osama Shaheen, ordered the postponement of the trial to give time the lawyers time to study the case's documents, bills and CDs.

He also ordered putting the four new defendants on the watch list and imposing a travel ban on them.

During the first session of the trail last August, the court referred the case back to the prosecution to add four new defendants who were holding administrative position of the maintenance project. The four defendants were accused of facilitating Mubarak and his sons' seizure of public funds.

From behind the dock, the ex-president and his two sons denied the accusations with Mubarak saying that "all the accusations mentioned by the general prosecution are baseless and have never happened".

Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for nearly three decades and was toppled in nationwide protests in January 2011, also faces the retrial for the killing of protesters during that unrest.

He was released from custody last August after exceeding the legal detention period, and settlement another case against him by reimbursing gifts he received from state-run Ahram institutions.

But Alaa and Gamal remain in jail on other corruption cases, such as exploiting public funds for their own interests and exporting natural gas to Israel at prices lower than the international market prices.

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