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Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak released on corruption charges

Aug. 19, 2013 at 7:41 AM   |   Comments

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CAIRO, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The Cairo Criminal Court Monday ordered the prison release of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, pending an investigation into corruption charges.

The ousted leader will remain in custody, though, for separate charges of murder and corruption, Ahram Online reported.

Mubarak and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, are to go to trial for charges they took more than $14.3 million in public funds to build private villas, al-Masry al-Youm reported.

Meanwhile, gunmen killed 25 off-duty Egyptian policemen after forcing them out of their vehicles and shooting them at point blank range Monday in northern Sinai, officials said.

The attack occurred just hours after 36 Islamist prisoners were killed by Egyptian security forces as they attempted to escape.

The policemen, who wore plain clothes, were traveling in two mini-buses on the road between el-Arish and Rafah when they were ambushed by gunmen who surrounded their vehicles and forced them out, Israel Radio reported.

The policemen were forced to kneel at the the side of the road before they were executed, the radio report said. Three other policemen were injured, the report said.

Initial reports said a rocket propelled grenade was fired at the buses, the report said.

Since the July 3 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi more than 73 Egyptian policemen and soldiers have been killed by gunmen operating in the Sinai Peninsula, the report said.

The Foreign Press Association warned journalists are being targeted by demonstrators.

FPA Chairman Volkhard Windfuhr said he was attacked by a sniper Monday as he headed for a coffee shop to meet friends.

"The criminal was not a policeman either. I have witnesses for that fact -- normal Egyptian citizen passersby," Windfuhr said in an email to UPI.

"It is outrageous what these aggressive 'protesters' commit. They attack people at random, attack their own state, attack public buildings and an ever increasing number of churches, houses and shops of Christians."

In Cairo, Gen. Hani Abdullatif, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said 36 Islamist prisoners were killed Sunday by Egyptian security forces as they attempted to escape from a prison transport vehicle taking them from a pre-detention facility to the large Abu Zaabal penitentiary near Cairo, Egypt's state-run television reported.

The detainees died of asphyxiation after officers fired tear gas through the windows of the crowded prison van the detainees had hijacked, Abdullatif said.

In a separate event, the Ministry of Interior released video footage Monday showing the dispersal of Muslim Brotherhood protesters at two sites in Cairo last week. The images clearly show Muslim Brotherhood snipers shooting from windows of a high building at Egyptian security forces deployed below, the radio said.

On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki added his voice to a growing number of Arab leaders supporting the crackdown.

"We stand strongly with the Egyptian government in imposing the rule of law and establishing security and civil peace across all of Egypt," Maliki said in a statement on his website.

He called for "all Egyptians to renounce violence and come to the dialogue table" to bridge "sectarian divisions," the statement monitored by United Press International said.

Several other Arab leaders, including Saudi King Abdullah, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Jordan have come out in support of the crackdown.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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