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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs