News / Africa

Egyptian Court Orders Retrial for Mubarak

A supporter of deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak celebrates and shouts slogans outside a High Court in Cairo, January 13, 2013.
A supporter of deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak celebrates and shouts slogans outside a High Court in Cairo, January 13, 2013.
Edward Yeranian
An Egyptian appeals court has ordered a retrial for ousted former president Hosni Mubarak, given a life sentence during a highly publicized trial last year.  

The atmosphere was charged inside the court room as the judge announced the appeal was being accepted in the case of the former president.

Mubarak was sentenced last June for conspiracy in the killing of hundreds of protesters during the uprising that ended his three-decade rule in 2011.

The judge says that after successful appeals, there will be retrials in the cases of Mubarak and his former interior minister, Habib al-Adly.

A crowd of Mubarak supporters, carrying his picture, chanted slogans in favor of the deposed president outside the courtroom.

His opponents, and families of protesters killed during the 2011 revolution, demonstrated nearby.

Saturday, Egypt's state prosecutor's office announced the former president was being charged in another case for allegedly  accepting valuable gifts from a state newspaper.  Analysts say that case may have been introduced in anticipation of Sunday's ruling, which could have prompted his release, pending retrial.

Mubarak was recently transferred from Cairo's Tura Prison to a nearby military hospital, after he slipped in a shower and broke several ribs.  The 84-year-old former president has had a number of health crises in the months since his conviction.

Veteran Egyptian editor and publisher Hisham Kassem says the appeals court ruling to retry the former president was expected, since evidence presented to convict him was flimsy.

“It was clear from the start that the procedures and with the lack of evidence and the whole way that the trial went that basically, the judge had to resort to the charge of failing to protect the demonstrators under his watch, because nobody presented evidence to establish that Mubarak gave orders, or nobody managed to establish the chain of command up to Mubarak," said Kassem.

The former president's top attorney, Farid el-Deeb, told Arab media that the evidence against Mubarak was insufficient to convict him and that he should be released.

Analyst Kassem notes that a new trial will be based primarily on prior evidence.

“If new evidence appears, then it is introduced," he said. "But this is a retrial on existing evidence.  Until somebody can establish that there is new evidence, they will be tried on the same evidence.”

A fact-finding commission, established by Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, insisted recently that Mubarak was aware of tactics used against demonstrators, thanks to a special television link in his office set up by the interior ministry.  

But Egyptian news reports say former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman testified, before he died, that the crackdown on demonstrators during the 2011 revolution was prompted, in part, by the escape of dangerous criminals.

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Comment Sorting
by: Hassan from: Egypt
January 13, 2013 12:24 PM
Egypt - now its official... the first Al Qaeda State...

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
January 13, 2013 11:40 AM
The continued imprisionement and essentially violation of rights of this Egyptian citizen, Mr. Mubarak, at his age, reduced mental capacities is just in-humane. The new gvmt, could also be accused of murdering, maiming, and unlawfully detaining protesters, in the aftermath, and leading to the drafting/voting of/on the new constitution; their numbers of incidents are lower, but nevertheless very significant. Mr. Mubarak, served his country his whole life, was an Egyptian national hero, and over his tenure in gvmt, Egypt was modernized to a significant level; Eespecially the Egyptian education system, road networks, primary industralization programs, and so on. I think history will judge Mr. Mubarak's tenure, at the Egyptian state, as having been positive over all. The nagatives were, that it can't be denied, it was a dictatorship. As dictatorships go, it did not get into killing, maiming and injuring 100,000's of people. Mr. Mubarek was faced with a number of terrorist challenges, and as with all other nations facing terrorism, civilians that are not involved with the terrorism end up hurt; but in many cases, many of the victims are in fact as the result of terrorist undertaking their operations inside and firing from civilian objects. I must say, that the last 6 months of the Mubarak tenure, did become bloody, both sides of the internal conflict were not behaving responsibly. Once a situation gets out of control, extremist elements seem to take charge of of the direction and end developments. Much of the bloody episodes, quite likely, developed rapidly, and would be in fact out of the direct control of Mr. Mubarek. We are seeing a similar situation in Syria, were polarazing extreme elements have joined and are fighting on both sides of the conflict, with out due regard for the safety and security of civilians. In the Syrian conflict, there is a massive unbalance of force capabilities, so clearly, the dictatorial regime is causing most of the casualties. The same type, civil conflict, situation occurred in Egypt, but Mr. Mubarek did not resort to using the potentially deadly arsenal his forces had at hand, which would be his perrogative to direct; clearly showing restraint in/during the civil conflict. On the balance, given the condtion of Mr. Mubarak, his state of health, his very advanced age, in my opinion, a fair, independent court, would in fact release him for time served. WRT the other individiuals, that were closer to the front lines, their individual behavior/responsibility must be investigated, and judiciary action as justified needs to be taken. Mr. Mubarak's further detention, given his condition, is just for show purposes, similar to the many detentions in such places as the former USSR/USSR allied countries. Mr. Morsi should in fact order the release of Mr. Mubarak, at least until such time as a new trial is completed, and if found guilty, Mr. Morsi should actually pardon Mr. Mubarak. Such a pardon will go a long way in stabilizing Egyptian unrest/polarization.

by: Mark Burkley from: highlands of Louisville
January 13, 2013 8:23 AM
Thank Goodness for patient consideration and speedy actions!

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