For the family of former Egyptian president, the situation is uncomfortable: Now even Hosni Mubarak is in custody, after his tow sons were arrested on Tuesday night.
His detention comes after the 82-year-old reportedly suffered a heart attack while being questioned on Tuesday night.
Mubarak’s two sons, Gamal and Alaa, have also been detained after being questioned over corruption claims into the early hours of Wednesday morning.
A statement from the prosecutor general’s office announcing Mubarak’s detention 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 said.
Egypt’s interim government issued subpoenas to Mubarak and his sons over the weekend, compelling them to testify in court over claims that they illicitly acquired wealth and abused their power during the former president’s reign.
The announcement of their detention came just hours after Mubarak was hospitalised with heart problems in Sharm el-Sheikh. He has been in internal exile in the Red Sea resort since Egypt’s mass uprising earlier this year.
In a sign his health may not be in immediate danger, justice minister Mohammed el-Guindi said questioning of the former president continued in hospital.
While the ex-president was in hospital – where he is expected to remain for the period of his detention – his sons were taken for questioning to a local court by prosecutors from Cairo.
Gamal Mubarak, his younger son, was a top official in the ruling party and was widely seen as being groomed to succeed his father before 18 days of popular protests brought down the regime on 11 February.
An angry crowd of 2,000 people gathered outside and demanded the two be arrested.
Then, in the early hours of the morning, the head of provincial security in the South Sinai told the crowd that Gamal and his businessman brother Alaa would be detained.
“Brothers, whatever you wanted, you have got … 15 days,” said Major General Mohammed el-Khatib, as the crowd erupted in cheers.
As a police van with drawn curtains took away the two brothers, the crowd pelted it with water bottles, stones and their shoes, a sign of disrespect in the Arab world.
About 800 people are estimated to have been killed during the protests as police opened fire and cracked down on the crowds. Authorities are now investigating government officials for their role in ordering the violence.
Gamal is also believed to be the architect of Egypt’s privatisation program and economic liberalisation, which has brought in billions in foreign investment but has also widened the gap between rich and poor.
Many of his close associates were billionaires and held top positions in the ruling party and the government.