CAIRO, Egypt – Egypt’s prosecutor general announced today the 15-day detention of the country’s former president, pending inquiries into accusations of corruption and abuse of authority in an unprecedented investigation of a former ruler in the Arab world.
The announcement was the latest in a dramatic series of events surrounding the probes against top former regime officials, and came just hours after former President Hosni Mubarak, 82, was hospitalized with heart problems in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Since Mubarak’s ouster on Feb. 11 on a wave of popular protests, Egyptians have been calling for the investigation of their longtime ruler along with that of many members of his government.
A statement from the prosecutor general’s office announcing Mubarak’s detention was posted on the social networking site Facebook early today. It said the ongoing investigation was into allegations of corruption, the squandering of public funds, and the abuse of authority for personal gain.
“The prosecutor general orders the detention of former President Hosni Mubarak and his sons Gamal and Alaa for 15 days pending investigation after the prosecutor general presented them with the current state of its ongoing investigations,” it read.
Just hours earlier, an announcement said the ex-president’s two sons were being questioned and detained. It is believed Mubarak will remain in the hospital for his detention.
Most of the top officials of Mubarak’s regime are now being investigated on allegations of corruption and abuse of authority.
The Facebook page was set up as an outreach from the Justice Ministry to the families of those killed and injured during the 18 days of protests that ousted Mubarak in mid-February.
While the ex-president was in the hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh, where he has been living since being removed from power, his sons were taken for questioning to the nearby courthouse by prosecutors.
Late Tuesday, an angry crowd of 2,000 people had gathered outside the hospital, demanding the sons be arrested. Then, in the early hours today the head of provincial security in the South Sinai told the crowd that Gamal and his businessman brother Alaa would be detained.