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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More