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Egyptians Wonder When, If, Mubarak Case Will End

  • Elizabeth Arrott

The latest postponement of the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has left some wondering if justice will ever be served.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is set to appear in court again June 8, as the case against him grinds slowly on.

His retrial on charges he was complicit in the murder of protesters during the uprising against him has been postponed twice.

Lawyers said they will be presenting new evidence, but the delays have raised questions of when, if ever, the case against the 85-year-old ex-leader will be resolved.

The court ordered Mubarak's first trial nearly two years ago. It began in August 2011. In June the next year, he was convicted of failing to stop the killings. Early this year, he was granted the now-postponed retrial.

The delays have angered many: opponents are still bringing civil suits against him, while his supporters argue he should be freed during his appeal.

But there is also a growing sense of resignation. Crowds, once eager to see their former leader face justice, appear ever smaller as resolution seems farther away.

Professor Said Sadek compares the Mubarak case to unsuccessful efforts against the late Chilean President Augusto Pinochet.

"There was a realization that they should follow in Egypt what happened to Pinochet in Chile: a long trial, no solution, no final settlement until the dictator dies and they close the whole book and get rid of any trouble," he said.

That trouble, he believes, would be to the many holdovers in government from the Mubarak era, who Sadek argues would rather bury crimes committed not just during the revolution, but during his long rule.

"I do not say Mubarak was torturing people by his own hands. He needed people. He needed officials, and if you go that way, you get a Who's Who in the Egyptian security establishment," he said.

Yet just having the trial is a milestone. Of all the countries in which leaders were toppled during the Arab Spring, only Egypt has seen its former president in court.

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