An Egyptian court has begun the retrial of former president Hosni Mubarak and his sons for alleged embezzlement charges.

They are accused of diverting public funds earmarked for the renovation of presidential palaces to upgrade family properties.

Mubarak, 86, toppled in a 2011 popular uprising, was sentenced to three years in prison last May. His two sons were given four-year jail terms in the same case.

In January, Egypt's high court overturned the conviction against Mubarak, who is currently being treated in a military hospital in Cairo.

Egyptian state television aired brief footage of Mubarak and his sons inside a cage in the courtroom in the Police Academy.

In November, a court dropped charges against Mubarak of conspiring to kill protesters in the 2011 uprising, raising fears among human rights activists that the old guard was making a comeback.

Many Egyptians who lived through Mubarak's rule view it as a period of autocracy and crony capitalism.

His overthrow led to Egypt's first free election, although Mohamed Morsi, who won the election, was removed from the presidency in 2013 by then-army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, following protests against Morsi's rule.

Sisi, who went on to win a presidential election last May, launched a fierce crackdown on Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group.

Authorities have jailed thousands of Brotherhood supporters and sentenced hundreds to death in mass trials that drew international criticism.

Source: Agencies