News / Africa

Mubarak Pleads 'Not Guilty' in Historic Egyptian Trial

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is seen in the courtroom for his trial at the Police Academy in Cairo, August 3, 2011.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is seen in the courtroom for his trial at the Police Academy in Cairo, August 3, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak appeared in a courtroom cage Wednesday charged with the murder of anti-government protesters and corruption.  The trial, unprecedented in Egyptian history, is riveting the nation.

Mubarak was wheeled into the temporary courtroom on a hospital gurney, taking his place next to his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six ex-security officials.

Video clip of Mubarak hearing

As the trial got underway, the judge asked Mubarak if he heard the charges against him, which include ordering the killing of protesters during an 18-day uprising earlier this year.  The former leader said he did, adding he denied them categorically.   Along with his sons, he is also accused of corruption.  The younger Mubaraks also denied the charges. 

If found guilty, the defendants face the possibility of the death penalty.  Mubarak appeared alert as he lay on the stretcher, less drawn than when last seen publicly in a defiant speech in February.  The 83-year-old was flown to the capital early Wednesday from Sharm el-Sheikh, where aides say he has been in poor health since stepping down in the face of the protests.     

More than 800 people were killed during the uprising.

Egyptians react

Outside the court, where a giant screen relayed the image of the caged defendants, the mother of Mohamed Soliman Tawfik, a university student killed in the protests, said she was relieved.  

She said her child was a good boy, raised properly, unlike the sons of Hosni Mubarak. Holding a picture of her dead son, she says it is enough for her to see the former president in the cage. 

Anti-Mubarak protesters scuffle with riot police outside the Police Military Academy complex in Cairo, Egypt, August 3, 2011, during the trial session of ousted President Hosni Mubarak
Anti-Mubarak protesters scuffle with riot police outside the Police Military Academy complex in Cairo, Egypt, August 3, 2011, during the trial session of ousted President Hosni Mubarak

Nearby, riot police, who clashed briefly with Mubarak supporters earlier in the day, seemed as intent on watching the image of their former president behind bars as they were on the crowd.  Among those outside the court, a makeshift affair in a policy academy that once bore Mubarak's name was newspaper editor Rania Al Malky. She said if someone had predicted this last year, she would have thought they were crazy.    

"I would have said they were are living in Mars or Neptune or somewhere outside Earth because this was unthinkable.  I think what happened is a miracle and the way everything has happened since the fist day, since January 25th, has been a miracle," she said.

Mubarak was the second Arab leader forced from power during the popular, anti-government uprisings that have rocked North Africa and the Middle East this year and the first to come to trial.    Those who support the man who ruled Egypt for nearly 30 years spoke out in his defense, with one man blaming the media and foreign countries, including the United States and Israel, for all that has happened.  

"I always support him and millions of Egyptians support Mubarak," he said. "I believe this is a conspiracy on Egypt, a well done conspiracy but, inshaalla, with God's will we are going to defeat this conspiracy in time. "

But such people seemed in the minority.   Across the capital, Egyptians sat grouped around televisions set up in cafes and doorways, watching the historic trial playing out before their eyes.  The case against Mubarak and his sons is set to resume on August 15. The others are set to appear in court again on Thursday.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid