The New York Times reports: A criminal court here convicted former President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday of diverting millions of dollars in public money for his personal use in a case that rights advocates say could also now implicate the current prime minister and spy chief in a cover-up.
The court sentenced Mr. Mubarak, 86 and living under house arrest in a military hospital overlooking the Nile, to three years in prison. His sons Gamal and Alaa were each sentenced to four years for their role in the scheme. The court ordered the three to pay penalties and make repayments totaling more than $20 million.
Two years ago, the former president was convicted and received a life sentence in a separate case for directing the killing of hundreds of protesters during the uprising that ended his rule in 2011, but even the presiding judge acknowledged at the time that the evidence was thin, and an appeals court has ordered a retrial. Mr. Mubarak is expected to appeal the new verdict as well, but the evidence appears far more substantial.
His conviction on Wednesday, involving his presidential palaces, arguably spares the new government installed by former Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of the potential embarrassment of freeing Mr. Mubarak. [Continue reading…]