Egyptian court acquits Mubarak’s sons of illicit share trading

Alaa and Gamal Mubarak and seven others had faced charges of illegally profiting from the process of selling the Al Watany Bank of Egypt to the National Bank of Kuwait in 2007. (AFP)
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Updated 22 February 2020

Egyptian court acquits Mubarak’s sons of illicit share trading

  • The pair were sentenced to three years in jail in 2015
  • The public prosecution has the right to appeal

CAIRO: The two sons of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were acquitted on Saturday of illicit share trading during the sale of a bank four years before the 2011 uprising that ended their father’s 30-year autocratic rule.
Alaa and Gamal Mubarak and seven others had faced charges of illegally profiting from the process of selling the Al-Watany Bank of Egypt to the National Bank of Kuwait in 2007.
Both men, who denied wrongdoing, attended Saturday’s Cairo Criminal Court session, which was held at a police academy for security reasons, and heard the verdict acquitting all the defendants.
The public prosecution has the right to appeal, judicial sources said.
The pair, detained after the 2011 popular uprising, were sentenced to three years in jail in 2015, along with their father, after being separately convicted of diverting public funds and using the money to upgrade family properties.
However, the two brothers were released soon after the ruling because they had spent time in detention pending the case. Their father was freed in 2017 after being cleared of charges of ordering the killing protesters during the uprising.


So-called honor killing of teen girl brings outcry in Iran

Updated 32 min 16 sec ago

So-called honor killing of teen girl brings outcry in Iran

  • Iranian president Rouhani has urged his cabinet to speed up the introduction of harsher laws against such killings

TEHRAN: The so-called honor killing of a 14-year-old Iranian girl by her father, who reportedly used a farming sickle to behead her as she slept, has prompted a nationwide outcry.
Reza Ashrafi, now in custody, was apparently enraged when he killed his daughter Romina on Thursday after she ran away with 34-year-old Bahamn Khavari in Talesh, some 320 kilometers (198 miles) northwest of the capital, Tehran.
In traditional societies in the Middle East, including Iran, blame would typically fall on a runaway girl for purportedly having sullied her family’s honor, rather than on an adult male luring away a child.
Romina was found five days after leaving home and taken to a police station, from where her father brought her back home. The girl reportedly told the police she feared a violent reaction from her father.
On Wednesday, a number of national newspapers featured the story prominently and the social media hashtag #RominaAshrafi reportedly has been used thousands times on social media, with most users condemning the killing.
Proposed legislation against honor killings has apparently shuttled for years among various decision-making bodies in Iran.
On Wednesday, Romina Ashrafi’s case led Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to urge his Cabinet to speed up harsher laws against such killings and he pushed for speedy adoption of relevant legislation.
There is little data on honor killings in Iran, where local media occasionally report on such cases. Under the law, girls can marry after the age of 13, though the average age of marriage for Iranian women is 23. It is not known how many women and young girls are killed by family members or close relatives because of their actions, perceived as violating conservative Islamic norms on love and marriage.
Iran’s judiciary said Romina’s case will be tried in a special court. Under the current law, her father faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Iran’s vice president in charge of family affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, expressed hope that a bill with harsher punishments will soon be in the final stages of approval.
Shahnaz Sajjadi, special assistant to citizens’ rights in the presidential directorate on women and family affairs, on Wednesday told the khabaronline.ir news website “We should revise the idea that home is a safe place for children and women. Crimes that happen against women in the society are less than those that happen in the homes.”