News / Africa

Egypt's Ex-President Mubarak, Sons to Face Trial

An Egyptian displays books showing cartoons on the covers of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Egypt, May 23, 2011
An Egyptian displays books showing cartoons on the covers of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Egypt, May 23, 2011
Elizabeth Arrott

Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak is to face trial for his alleged role in the deaths of protesters during the uprising that drove him from power. The ex-leader and his two sons are also charged with crimes stemming back decades.

The charges against Mubarak and his sons Gamal and Alaa include abuse of power and wasting public funds, as well as the killing of pro-democracy demonstrators earlier this year.

The prosecutor general's referral of the Mubaraks to criminal court follows widespread calls for members of the former government to face justice.  Human rights activists believe at least 800 people were killed during the protests, which ended nearly 30 years of Mubarak's rule.

The move comes three days before renewed protests, which pro-democracy activists are calling "A Second Revolution."

Abdalla al Ashaal is a political science professor at the American University in Cairo.

"I think this should be a welcome decision on the face of it, but it seems to me that the timing is trying to precede the demonstrations which are expected to be taking place in Tahrir Square on Friday."

Some in the protest movement have said they are worried that justice will not be served, and are frustrated by what they see as the continued influence of members of the old government in current affairs.

Prosecutors have been interrogating the former president at a hospital in Sharm el Sheikh, and his sons while in custody in a Cairo prison.

Gamal Mubarak held no formal government position, but had a key post in the former ruling National Democratic Party and was seen as being groomed to succeed his father. His brother Alaa was a prominent businessman, also without an official post.

Professor Ashaal says that while the two men and other members of Mubarak's inner circle profited from his rule - and in doing so earned the disdain of many - the motive for putting the three Mubaraks on trial together is not immediately clear.

"This is one of the signs of the incredibility of the decision because, of course, the package of Mubarak is totally different from the one that should be attributed to his sons."

He speculates it could be an administrative mistake, or a move to forestall Friday's protests.

The former president's wife, Suzanne Mubarak, has also been questioned about alleged illegal gains. Last week, she promised to turn over several million dollars worth of property and other assets.

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

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer 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