The two sons of Egypt's overthrown leader Hosni Mubarak have been freed from prison pending a fraud retrial, according to Egypt’s state media.

Alaa and Gamal Mubarak left jail early on Friday after a court ordered their release a day ago because they had served the maximum pretrial detention, the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported on its website

Hosni Mubarak, who was removed after Egypt's 2011 uprising, was convicted by a lower court on corruption charges with his two sons last year, with Alaa and Gamal receiving four-year sentences.

Their charges included embezzling at least $16m earmarked for the maintenance of presidential palaces.

The retrial of the former leader and his two sons was ordered this month and their lawyer Farid al-Deeb said at the time that the elder Mubarak, who is in a military hospital, would also be a free man.

However, state media reported there had been no orders yet for his release and there have been no signs of the 86-year-old leaving the hospital.

Stock market manipulation

Ahram reported that Alaa, 54, and Gamal, 51, were transported from jail to a police station in northern Cairo before being freed. They are both facing a separate trial for stock market manipulation.

In the last decade of Mubarak's 30-year rule, Gamal in particular was seen as the likely successor of his father and headed the powerful policies committee of the now dissolved National Democratic Party.

The release of the Mubaraks presents a dilemma for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former army chief whom opponents accuse of reviving Mubarak-era practices.

His prime minister, Ibrahim Mahlab, was a senior member of the National Democratic Party.

Sisi took power after overthrowing Egypt's first post-revolution leader – the Muslim Brotherhood-backed president Mohamed Morsi – in 2013 and won an election with massive support last year.

However, he has faced accusations of being even more authoritarian than Mubarak, unleashing a crackdown on Morsi supporters that has killed at least 1,400 people.

Source: Agencies