Mubarak arrested in Egypt ahead of corruption probe

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The prosecutor general orders the detention of former president Hosni Mubarak and his sons Gamal and Alaa.

—Egyptian prosecutor general

File photograph of Hosni Mubarak.
Image: World Economic Forum.

Hosni Mubarak, the ousted president of Egypt, who was last night taken to hospital after a heart attack, has been detained by prosecutors in the country ahead of a corruption probe. Egyptian officials allege Mubarak was involved in corruption and killings while he was in office.

The prosecutor general confirmed Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, had been detained for 15 days in the early hours of this morning. The former president, ousted from power in February following widespread protests across the country, remains in hospital after suffering a heart attack while being questioned by Egyptian officials yesterday.

Mubarak was summoned to face questions before Egyptian officials on Sunday over allegations of money laundering while he was in power and claims he ordered security forces to fire on anyone protesting against him. Sources say he suffered a heart attack while being interrogated by Egyptian prosecutors, and was taken to hospital in the coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he has been living since resigning. He arrived at the hospital in an armored car and flanked by heavy protection, according to two sources in the city, which lies on the coast of the Red Sea.

Outside the hospital, thousands of people gathered to demand Mubarak stand trial for ordering security forces to fire on protesters during the popular uprising earlier this year, when 800 people were killed. As Gamal and Alaa were driven away in a police van the crowd pelted the vehicle with stones, water bottles and shoes. Thousands more have gathered in Tahrir Square in the capital, Cairo, in the past few days demanding Mubarak be tried for his alleged crimes.

Mubarak has robustly denied the allegations of corruption and killings during his administration. Shortly before he was ordered for questioning on Sunday, the television station Al-Arabiya broadcast an audio message from the former leader, in which he said he would defend himself against what he termed an "unjust" campaign of "distortions, lies and incitement" against him. He claimed his enemies were systematically aiming to "tarnish my reputation and discredit my integrity," and said he would legally fight those who "engaged in lies and distortions against me."