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Egypt: Mubarak's sons arrested for alleged stock manipulation

Two sons of the former Egyptian president are among several men held in a corruption investigation.

An Egyptian court has ordered the arrest of two sons of former President Hosni Mubarak over stock market manipulation, according to state media.

Alaa and Gamal Mubarak are accused alongside several other people of making unlawful profits by failing to inform the stock market of agreements to acquire majorities in several banks through front companies.

The two brothers, both wealthy businessmen, deny any wrongdoing.

The pair on Saturday attended a hearing at a criminal court in the capital, where Judge Ahmed Abdoul-Fetouh ordered their arrest, according to officials, who spoke to The Associated Press news agency on condition of anonymity.

The accused were then taken to a prison south of Cairo, the officials said. Hearings are set to continue on October 20.

Gamal, the younger of the two, was once considered his father's heir apparent. 

Alaa was not involved in politics, but has faced allegations of having amassed a fortune through his father's contacts.

He confirmed his detention in a post on Twitter, voicing hope that "the truth will be revealed one day".

Hosni Mubarak ruled Egypt from 1981 until he was overthrown in a 2011 uprising, which went on to become part of the Arab Spring. Since then, Mubarak and his sons have spent several spells in detention.

The trio was previously sentenced to three years in prison following corruption convictions in 2015 for diverting more than $11.5m in public money to maintain presidential palaces.

The sons were freed five months later, while Mubarak was released in March 2017after he was cleared of inciting the killing protesters. He remains under investigation for alleged corruption.

Three other men were also arrested on Saturday, including Yasser el-Mallawany and Hassan Heikal, current and former board members at the Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes, a judicial source told the Reuters news agency.

All those accused in the case, which began in 2012, had previously been released on bail and barred from travel. 

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