[JURIST] The Cairo criminal court on Saturday sentenced former president Hosni Mubarak [BBC profile] and his two sons to three years in prison on corruption charges. However, Mubarak and his sons have already spent three years in prison for other convictions, so they will most likely not have to serve out this three year sentence. This corruption case was a retrial of the three men on charges of embezzlement. The original trial, which took place in May of last year and resulted in a three year sentence as well, found the men guilty [JURIST report] of embezzling millions of dollars of public money by diverting public funds and using the money to upgrade family properties. Opposers of Mubarak argue the sentence is too short, as they believe that the courts’ treatment of Mubarak during the time following his 30 year reign has been too lenient. Omar Ashour, a lecturer in Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter, stated [Aljazeera report] the following: “[w]hen we see the series of brutal abuses that happened under Mubarak in his 30-year reign, it will be seen as nothing, especially when we look at the trial happening now of former president Mohamed Morsi […] it tells you that there is very high politicisation of the judiciary.”
Mubarak and other members of his administration have been the subject of controversial judicial proceedings since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder]. In January a court in Egypt overturned [JURIST report] the May 2014 convictions of embezzlement for former president Mubarak and ordered a retrial. In December 2013 an Egyptian court acquitted [JURIST report] former Egyptian prime minister and presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq and Alaa and Gamal Mubarak of charges of embezzling public funds. In August 2013 Mubarak appeared in court for his retrial on complicity charges [JURIST report] in the killing of more than 100 protesters during Egypt’s 2011 uprising. The same week Mubarak was released from prison and placed under house arrest [JURIST report] at a military hospital after a court concluded that he served the maximum in time allowed in connection with the long-pending corruption case.