An Egyptian court dismissed Saturday a murder charge against ousted president Hosni Mubarak over the deaths of protesters during a 2011 uprising that ended the former strongman’s decades-long rule. The court also acquitted Mubarak and a former oil minister of corruption charges related to gas exports to Israel.
Barack Hussein Obama reported to be upset at the verdict for the man he worked so hard to bring down and replace with his hand-picked Muslim Brotherhood pal, Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the Egyptian people after just one year.
Al-Akhbar (h/t Susan K) Judge Mahmoud Kamel al-Rashidi said that seven of Mubarak’s commanders including the feared former interior minister Habib al-Adly, were found “innocent” of the demonstrator deaths in 2011 About 800 people were killed during the 18-day uprising that unseated Mubarak, in which protesters clashed with police across the country and torched police stations. Mubarak was accused of having ordered the killing of protesters.
Cheers broke out in the courtroom and Mubarak’s two sons and co-defendants, Alaa and Gamal, stooped down to kiss his forehead when the judge read out the verdict, as the 86-year-old Mubarak lay in an upright stretcher inside the caged dock. The usually stone-faced Mubarak, wearing his trademark shades, allowed himself a faint smile.
Corruption charges were also dropped against Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, with Rashidi saying too much time had elapsed since the alleged crime took place for the court to rule on the matter. The ruling came after a dramatic retrial in which the former president defended his 30-year rule. An appeals court overturned an initial life sentence for Mubarak in 2012 on a technicality.
His lawyer Farid al-Deeb told AFP that Saturday’s verdict was “a good ruling that proved the integrity of Mubarak’s era.” Mubarak told the retrial in August that he was nearing the end of his life “with a good conscience”. “The Hosni Mubarak before you would never have ordered the killings of protesters,” he said.
Not everyone is happy about the verdict.