CAIRO - A judge verdict sentencing former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to life in prison and acquitting his sons and senior police officials from charges of corruption and killing protesters has triggered mass protests across Egypt, reuniting revolutionary forces in iconic Tahrir square.
"We are done with talk, we want an execution!" protesters in Tahrir and Alexandria chanted, Reuters reported on Saturday, June 2.
Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison on Saturday morning after a court convicted him on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during last year's uprising that forced him from power.
Mubarak Sentenced to Life, Sons Acquitted
Reactions to Mubarak Verdict (Factbox)
Road to Mubarak's Trial (Timeline)
Hosni Mubarak (Profile)
Former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly also received a life sentence over the deaths of demonstrators.
Mubarak and his two sons - Gamal and Alaa - were acquitted on separate charges of corruption.
Hussein Salem, business tycoon who fled to Spain, was found not guilty of corruption.
The sentence also included acquitting six other senior police officers, including four of Adli's former deputies.
Immediately after the verdict, clashes broke inside and outside the courtroom, forcing police to use stun grenades to control the crowds.
Other protesters marched to Tahrir square, the focus for the uprising that drove Mubarak from office on February 11, 2011, following calls from the Muslim Brotherhood as well as presidential candidates Abdul Monem Abul El-Fotouh and Hamdeen Sabahi.
Others gathered in the second city of Alexandria as well as Suez.
Mubarak, the only autocrat toppled in the Arab Spring to be tried in person, Adly and the six others were facing charges over their involvement in ordering the deaths of some of the estimated 850 people killed.
He is not first Arab leader to be tried since the start of this year's 'Arab Spring'.
Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was tried and sentenced in absentia because he fled to Saudi Arabia.
Iraq's Saddam Hussein was ousted by US-led forces, then tried and hanged.
Rejecting the trial as farce, Muslim Brotherhood demanded a re-trial for Mubarak, who made Egypt into a staunch Arab ally of the United States.
"The public prosecutor did not carry out its full duty in gathering adequate evidence to convict the accused for killing protesters," said Yasser Ali, campaign spokesman for Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Mursi.
Mursi has vowed that if he is president, he would use the courts to ensure his predecessor stayed in jail.
"It is not possible to release Mubarak," he told Reuters on Thursday.
"I promise the martyrs, we will retrieve their rights in full, God willing.
Hossam Bahgat, the director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, who was outside the court with members of the victims' families, agreed that the sentence raises many questions.
"It's vindicating to Egyptians to see Mubarak and his interior minister sentenced to life, but the verdict raises more questions than answers," he told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Saturday, June 2.
"The court appears to have found no evidence that the killings were committed by policemen. It seems the court convicted Mubarak and Adly for failing to prevent the killings," Bahgat told AFP.
"It's 100 percent certain that this will go to appeal and the court is very likely to order a retrial," said Bahgat, a respected activist and lawyer.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net