News / Middle East

Mubarak Faces New Trial Over Killings of Protesters

Mubarak's first trial - June, 2012
Mubarak's first trial - June, 2012
Reuters
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 president, toppled by mass protests in February 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.
        
This video image taken from Egyptian State Television shows the sons of Hosni Mubarak, Alaa Mubarak, left and Gamal Mubarak as they stand inside the cage of mesh and iron bars in a Cairo courtroom Wednesday Aug. 3, 2011.This video image taken from Egyptian State Television shows the sons of Hosni Mubarak, Alaa Mubarak, left and Gamal Mubarak as they stand inside the cage of mesh and iron bars in a Cairo courtroom Wednesday Aug. 3, 2011.
x
This video image taken from Egyptian State Television shows the sons of Hosni Mubarak, Alaa Mubarak, left and Gamal Mubarak as they stand inside the cage of mesh and iron bars in a Cairo courtroom Wednesday Aug. 3, 2011.
This video image taken from Egyptian State Television shows the sons of Hosni Mubarak, Alaa Mubarak, left and Gamal Mubarak as they stand inside the cage of mesh and iron bars in a Cairo courtroom Wednesday Aug. 3, 2011.
​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 so-called 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 Mohamed 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.    

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 acknowledgement 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,'' he said.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs