السبت , يونيو 13 2020

Egypt court drops Mubarak murder case



Judge Mahmoud Kamel al-Rashidi

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Judge Mahmoud Kamel al-Rashidi: “The court dismisses criminal charges”

A court in Egypt has dropped charges against former President Hosni Mubarak over the killing of 239 protesters during the 2011 uprising against him.

The Cairo courtroom erupted in cheers when the judge concluded Mubarak’s retrial by dismissing the case.

Charges against seven of Mr Mubarak’s senior officials, including his interior minister, were also dropped.

Mubarak, 86, is serving a separate three-year sentence for embezzlement of public funds.

Mubarak, his former Interior Minister, Habib al-Adly, and six others had been convicted of conspiracy to kill and were sentenced to life in prison in June 2012, but a retrial was ordered last year on a technicality.

In all, some 800 people are thought to have been killed as security forces battled protesters in the weeks before Mubarak resigned on 11 February 2011.

Hosni Mubarak after his retrial in Cairo, 29 NovemberMubarak waves as he is wheeled out of the court after the verdict

An anti-Mubarak demonstrator reacts to the verdict outside the Cairo court, 29 NovemberSome anti-Mubarak demonstrators outside the Cairo court were distraught

Mubarak supporters celebrate after the verdict outside the Cairo military hospital where he is being held, 29 NovemberCheering supporters brandished old portraits of Mubarak outside the Cairo military hospital where he is being held

Mubarak supporters celebrate after the verdict (location not given), 29 NovemberOne woman wore a T-shirt of the deposed leader

However, the court documents at the trial related to the deaths of 239 people and injuries sustained by 1,588, across 11 of the country’s regions.

Mubarak was wheeled into court on a hospital trolley, wearing sun glasses and looking grim.

As well as the murder charge, Mubarak was also cleared of a corruption charge involving gas exports to Israel.

His sons Gamal and Alaa were also cleared of separate corruption charges by the same court on Saturday.



Courtroom reacts to verdict

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The courtroom erupted in cheers as the verdict was read out

As supporters cheered the verdict, his sons and co-defendants stooped down to kiss his forehead.

Mubarak’s lawyer, Farid al-Deeb, told AFP news agency the verdict was a “good ruling that proved the integrity of Mubarak’s era”.

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At the scene: BBC’s Orla Guerin in Cairo

Outside the police academy that used to bear his name, supporters and opponents of the former president gathered to hear the verdict – separated by police and a few layers of barricades. Hawkers stood on the sidelines offering Mubarak memorabilia.

The Mubarak faithful held aloft portraits of their former leader, calling for him to be acquitted. When the verdict came supporters hugged each other and danced in the streets. One woman told us it was the best moment of her life. “We always knew he was innocent,” she said.

A short distance away bereaved relatives held photos of loved ones killed by the security forces during the revolution of 2011. Several of them had been demanding Mubarak’s execution. When they heard the news, huddled around a car radio, one man collapsed, and started banging his head with his hands.

Almost four years after Hosni Mubarak was swept from power, many Egyptians have lost interest in the fate of their former leader.

The verdict means no-one has been held responsible for the killing of more than 800 protesters during the 2011 revolution. It is as if the dead committed mass suicide, said one Egyptian journalist on Twitter.

Egypt’s revolution: Interactive map

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Relatives of those killed in 2011 had awaited Saturday’s verdict with trepidation.

Mahmoud Ibrahim Ali, whose wife was killed, had little faith in the judiciary, believing it simply did the government’s bidding.

“The regime is the same,” he told AP news agency. “Names have changed but everything is the same.”

Amal Shaker with a photo of her son Ahmed, killed during the 2011 uprising, in Cairo, 25 NovemberAmal Shaker with a photo of her late son Ahmed: “Youth that were like flowers were killed”

Mubarak’s elected successor, President Mohammed Morsi, lasted only a year in power before being ousted by the military in July 2013 during mass anti-government protests.

Army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was subsequently elected in his place and under his rule, TV stations and newspapers have largely dropped criticism of the Mubarak era, correspondents say.

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Did you take part in the protests in 2011? Did you know someone who was killed in the protests? What is your reaction to this news? Send your comments to [email protected]

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