mubarak - AP - January 31 2011
Gamal Mubarak, son of Hosni Mubarak, in December. Photo by AP
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Egyptian prosecutors ordered the detention of the former president's powerful sons as their role in violence against protesters and corruption allegations are investigated, said a police general early Wednesday.

Alaa and Gamal Mubarak are to be detained for 15 days, Egyptian state television said on Wednesday. State prosecutors are probing accusations of embezzlement.

Their father, former President Hosni Mubarak, has said details of their bank accounts will disprove suspicions of profiteering and illegal gains.

The order comes just hours after former President Hosni Mubarak, 82, was hospitalized with heart problems as investigations began over his own role in corruption and suppressing the protests calling for his ouster.

Many of Mubarak's top associates are now being questioned for their activities in the previous regime, but the detention of his sons is by far the most startling development since his Feb. 11 removal from office.

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 popular protests brought down the regime.

While the ex-president was in the hospital in the Red Sea resort of 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 from Cairo.

An angry crowd of 2,000 people gathered outside and demanded the two be arrested.
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 Maj. Gen. Mohammed el-Khatib, as the crowd erupted in cheers. Egyptian state television later confirmed the order.

As a police van took away the two brothers, the crowd pelted it with water bottles, stones and their flip-flops, a sign of disrespect in the Arab world.

In the two months since Mubarak stepped down, the council of generals ruling the country have initiated a series of investigations of top regime officials.