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

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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs