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Mubarak’s Retrial Disappoints Egyptians

Published: 17/01/2013 05:18:03 PM GMT
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CAIRO - A Cairo court ordered a retrial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak on Sunday, January 13 after accepting an appeal against his life sentence, to the disappointment of many Egyptians. If Mubarak and his corrupt aides (more)

CAIRO - A Cairo court ordered a retrial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak on Sunday, January 13 after accepting an appeal against his life sentence, to the disappointment of many Egyptians.

"If Mubarak and his corrupt aides get lighter sentences this will reignite the revolution and there will be more bloodshed," Ahmed Abdel Ghaffour, a 33-year-old engineer in Cairo, told Reuters.

An Egyptian judge ruled Sunday that Mubarak, his two sons, his interior minister Habib Al-Adly and top security chiefs be retried on charges of killing protestors during an 18-day revolt in 2011.Egypt's Mubarak…From Top to Abyss

"The court has ruled to accept the appeal filed by the defendants ... and orders a retrial," Judge Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman said.

Crowds of Mubarak supporters attending the hearing shouted "God is greatest", clapped and whistled as the judge read out the appeal ruling.

Groups of joyful supporters were also seen handing out sweets in central Cairo.

The judge did not clarify the legal basis for the retrial, nor did he say when the hearings were likely to start.

But lawyers say Mubarak's retrial would be based on the same evidence used in the original trial.

"No new evidence will be added to the case," lawyer Mohamed Abdel Razek said, arguing that there were countless flaws in the verdict

"(These) resulted in the unfair trial of our client."

Mubarak is currently serving a 25-year sentence in prison on charges of complicity in the killing of protestors during the protest that swept him from power.

After the original trial, many in Egypt were disappointed that Mubarak had not been explicitly convicted of ordering the killing of protesters as well as of what rights groups see as widespread abuses committed under his rule.

Around 850 protesters died in the uprising but some rights groups claim the figure is higher.


The court ruling came to the disappointment of many Egyptians.

“The trial was a disappointment since the start of investigations and until the verdict,” Hoda Nasrallah, a lawyer with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“Despite popular optimism that justice was close... what we saw were superficial interrogations marred by negligence.”

Mubarak's retrial is likely to stir emotions and could plunge the government of new President Mohamed Morsi into dangerous waters as he tries to restore law and order and a wrecked economy.

Egypt remains volatile as it prepares for a parliamentary election in the next few months.

Anxiety over the economy is on the boil after protests, often violent, in late 2012 prompted citizens to snap up hard currency and take out savings.

The retrial "takes everything and everyone back to square one," Hassan Nafaa, a professor of political science, told Reuters.

"The timing of the verdict is critical with the second anniversary of the revolution coming up on January 25th.”

During Mubarak's 10-month trial, many protesters accused the then ruling generals and officials seen as loyal to the ousted president of protecting him.

A retrial may revive calls for a deeper purge of those viewed as holdovers from the old era.

“Revolutionary youth and opposition will certainly mobilize on this day for justice,” Nafaa said.

The exact state of Mubarak's health is not clear, though last year some media reported that he was close to death.

He was moved from prison to a military hospital in late December after breaking ribs in a fall.

He will remain in custody as he faces new charges from the public funds prosecutor for receiving gifts worth millions of Egyptian pounds from Egypt's state newspaper Al-Ahram.Mubarak has not spoken publicly about the events that followed his downfall, saying almost nothing during the trial beyond confirming his presence and denying the charges.

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