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Sunday, 16 September 2018

Gamal, Alaa Mubarak are detained (again)

**#2 Gamal, Alaa Mubarak are detained (again) along with Hassan Heikal, Yasser El Mallawany: A Cairo Criminal Court ordered the arrest of Gamal and Alaa Mubarak and seven others in the latest long-drawn out saga of what the local press likes to call the “stock market manipulation” case. The sons of ousted President Hosni Mubarak and their co-accused were detained on Saturday on charges of insider trader in the sale of Al Watany Bank of Egypt to the National Bank of Kuwait, Reuters reports. Other defendants in the case include Former EFG Hermes Co-CEOs Hassan Heikal and Yasser El Mallawany. The trial has been adjourned to 20 October.

Surprise arrest comes despite court panel report exonerating defendants: The surprise arrest comes despite a report by a panel of experts appointed by the Cairo Criminal Court to give their views on the case, which appears to recommend most charges against the defendants be dropped. The report concludes that the trades made by the defendants during the sale of Al Watany complied with capital market regulations of the time. The panel reportedly includes Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk, deputy head of the Financial Regulatory Authority Reda Abdel Moaty, and the former deputy head of the EGX Mohsen Adel. You can catch part 1 (pdf) and part 2 (pdf) of the report courtesy of Al Mal.

It is still unclear why the court disregarded the report. El Watan reporter Haitham Boraai told Masaa DMC that the court concluded that the report was somehow incomplete (watch, runtime: 4:52).

The story is topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press, with a number of publications questioning the timing of the surprise arrests given that the trial has been proceeding without incident. The Associated Press’ Hamza Hendawi is noting that the arrests came after some local press outfits warned the Mubaraks against seeking a role in public life after Gamal Mubarak recently became more publicly visible. Others, including the Wall Street Journal, are stressing the brothers’ notoriety before the 2011 uprising.

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