Mubarak Faces New Trial Saturday for Killings of Egypt Protesters

Friday, 12 Apr 2013 04:35 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
CAIRO — Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak goes on trial on Saturday for the second time on charges of complicity in the murder of protesters during the uprising that unseated him.

The live televised retrial of the ailing 84-year-old former autocrat, toppled by mass protests in 2011, is likely to highlight the stumbling nature of Egypt's path to transitional justice.

The highest appeals court ordered a retrial in January after accepting appeals from both the defense and the prosecution. Each cited different shortcomings with a trial that ended with life prison terms for Mubarak and his interior minister but was criticized for the weak evidence offered by the prosecution.

Mubarak, former interior minister Habib al-Adli, and four top aides are charged with involvement in the killing of more than 800 protesters who died in the 18-day uprising. Mubarak's two sons, Gamal and Alaa, face retrial on charges of financial corruption.

Mubarak's imprisonment last June was a historic moment; he was the first ruler toppled by the Arab Spring uprisings to stand trial in person.

But the case exposed the difficulties of attaining justice in a country whose judiciary and security forces are still largely controlled by figures appointed during his era.

Six senior Interior Ministry officers — two of them charged with lesser crimes — were acquitted. The prosecution complained that the ministry had failed to cooperate in providing evidence.

The judge convicted Mubarak and Adli on the grounds of their failure to stop the killing, rather than actually ordering it.

This time, the prosecution is expected to draw on the findings of a fact-finding committee established by President Mohammed Morsi last year. Morsi has faced criticism for failing to publish its report, which was completed in December.

Britain's Guardian newspaper published this week what it said were leaks from the report, alleging the military had been involved in torture, killings, and forced disappearances during the uprising.

Ali Hassan, a member of the inquiry panel whose son was killed in the uprising, said the report should condemn Mubarak and the Interior Ministry officials.

"The minimum punishment for them should be death," he said.

"SPORADIC, HAPHAZARD" JUSTICE

Mubarak was sent to Tora Prison after being convicted last year and subsequently moved to a military hospital. He appeared at court hearings on a hospital bed, alongside his two sons. While the sons were cleared of the charges in that trial, they remain in jail pending other corruption investigations.

The retrial will also include a charge against Mubarak of improperly facilitating a natural gas deal with Israel.

Cases brought against other Mubarak-era officials have also failed to yield convictions.

"If we look at the various pillars of transitional justice, very little has been done on any of them," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem of the International Center for Transitional Justice. "The things have been done have been sporadic, haphazard."

Morsi's decision to set up a fact-finding committee to probe the violence was welcomed as an attempt to assemble an independent picture of what happened during the uprising.

But critics say his failure to publish the findings raises questions. "Why would the facts be withheld? It is not a good omen," said Abdel Dayem.

Ahmed Ragab, a lawyer and another member of the fact-finding commission, said failure to publish the report marked a setback "because it delays the state's acknowledgment of crimes committed by the security forces against Egyptians."

He said Morsi may be unwilling to publish the report because the security forces, largely unreformed from Mubarak's days, are now "committing the same crimes."

There have, however, been changes in the state prosecutor's office. Morsi in November replaced the Mubarak-era prosecutor general who was in office at the time of the first trial.

But that step was condemned as illegal by Morsi's opponents, and could add a political edge to the retrial.

Despite the doubts, Ragab said he was hopeful: "The trial could be a good opportunity to open the files of the previous regime in a deeper and bigger way."

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

INTEL: ISIS Training Western Terrorists to Attack Europe, US

Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 22:54 PM

A growing army of Islamist fighters, thousands of whom carry European passports, is busy learning the terror trade in ar . . .

'Islamic State' Says It Has Beheaded American Journalist

Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 17:59 PM

The brutal jihadist group Islamic State on Tuesday claimed to have executed American journalist James Foley in revenge f . . .

Rick Santorum: Israel Knows US Is Not a Friend

Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 10:47 AM

Israel knows that the Obama administration is not its friend, evidenced by pressure the White House is putting on it to  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved