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

Video British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Multimedia Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid