Egypt's Mubarak, Sons to Appear in Court Next Week
Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons will appear before a Cairo court on Tuesday, April 19, for questioning, state television said on Wednesday.
Mubarak and his sons were detained earlier on Wednesday. The public prosecutor had summoned the former leader over the killing of protesters, embezzling of public funds and abuse of power.
It was a landmark development to see the public prosecutor order the detention of Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, for a period of 15 days.
It was only last weekend that hundreds of thousands of Egyptians rallied in Tahrir Square, piling the pressure on the country’s military rulers once again and calling for the toppled leader to be tried.
Mubarak suffered a "heart crisis" on Tuesday during questioning and was admitted to the hospital in Sharm El-Sheikh, where he has been since stepping down. His condition is not believed to be life threatening, although details remain vague. He has denied having assets or bank accounts abroad.
A trial for Mubarak is seen by many as an essential component in a successful transition to democracy. It also likely to help the credibility of the Higher Council of the Armed Forces as it continues to oversee the expected transition to a civilian-led government.
“It’s too early to take this as a 100-percent equity positive event”, Amr Elalfy, Co-Head of Research at CI Capital Holding, told CNBC.
The detention is widely perceived as significant, “but it’s still early in the process.” These announcements were not unexpected, and are “partially priced in.”
Before the Egyptian revolution this year, the former President was often associated with stability in Egypt and across the Middle East. In the past, and as has often been the case with certain political leaders throughout history, rumors about Mubarak’s health fueled speculation about a possible change in power. It is that very prospect which often led to a knee-jerk selloff on the part of most investors. That specific correlation has since been lost.
Going forward, Elalfy believes that company-specific developments will be driving the market in the remaining trading sessions of the week.
One such development traders will be watching will be the outcome of the general meeting for Orascom Telecom. The meeting may see the approval of a plan to raise the company's capital to $2.35 billionand to divide the company into two. OT shares closed 3.3 percent higher Wednesday.
The EGX had a mostly tough week, managing a rebound only on Wednesday, up 1.9 percent, with volumes remaining subdued.
--Reuters contributed to this report.