News / Middle East

Former Egyptian President Guilty in Killings, Sentenced to Life

Crowds outside the court in Cairo as Mubarak's sentence was announced Saturday, June 2, 2012 (VOA - Y. Weeks)Crowds outside the court in Cairo as Mubarak's sentence was announced Saturday, June 2, 2012 (VOA - Y. Weeks)
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Crowds outside the court in Cairo as Mubarak's sentence was announced Saturday, June 2, 2012 (VOA - Y. Weeks)
Crowds outside the court in Cairo as Mubarak's sentence was announced Saturday, June 2, 2012 (VOA - Y. Weeks)
Elizabeth Arrott
CAIRO - Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak, has been found guilty for his role in the killings of protesters during the uprising that forced his downfall. His interior minister was also found guilty, but other top security officials were acquitted.

Mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison for his complicity in the killing of anti-government protesters, escaping the death penalty called for by the trial prosecutor.

As Judge Ahmed Rifaat read the verdict, the anti-Mubarak crowd outside the courthouse erupted in chants of God is Great, and set off fireworks to mark the decision.

Q&A with VOA's Elizabeth Arrott

Many of those gathered were relatives of the slain protesters.

The first Arab leader ousted during the region's uprisings to face court, Mubarak was acquitted, along with his sons, Gamal and Alaa, of corruption charges.  The news dampened the jubilation of the crowd, with suspicions that the vast wealth allegedly accumulated by the Mubarak family and inner circle would remain in their hands.

Crowds outside the Cairo courtroom protesting against the verdict, and chanting: null and void


The acquittal of several other high-ranking officials was also a disappointment, prompting some at the scene to compare the trial to the revolution itself:  The leaders have fallen, but the next tier remained.

Anti-Mubarak crowd outside the courthouse was initially jubilant as the verdict was announced on Saturday, but the mood changed as people learned more about the decision.

Thousands of demonstrators came to Cairo's Tahrir Square after the court session, chanting and waving Egyptian flags.

There was a dampening of the mood when it turned out that Mubarak and his sons, Gamal and Alaa, were  acquitted of corruption charges. That, to many people, seemed that the money that many people feel that the Mubarak family and the inner circle have plundered from the country, will still be in their hands.

Reaction outside the court right after the guilty verdict


The verdict and sentencing come as the nation remains divided over who will replace the 84-year-old Mubarak. The first presidential election since his ouster pits an Islamist, Mohamed Morsi, against a former Mubarak ally - Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under the old guard. The runoff between the two - a disappointing choice for many Egyptians - is slated for June 16-17.

  • Anti-Mubarak protesters chant in front of a Cairo courthouse, awaiting a verdict in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • A woman holds a sign with the image of a slain protester in front of a courthouse in Cairo awaiting a verdict in the trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • A couple honors one the protesters killed during the uprising, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • The crowd displays a banner with photos of those killed in the uprising in Cairo, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • Anti-Mubarak protesters embrace at the news of his guilty verdict in Cairo, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • A brother of the protester killed during the Tahrir uprising protests in Cairo, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • Jubilation as news of the guilty verdict spreads in Cairo, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • The crowd sets off fireworks as Mubarak is found guilty, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • Also near the courthouse, but separated by a sea of riot police, were Mubarak supporters, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • Riot police stood guard outside of a Cairo courthouse just before former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • Young anti-Mubarak protesters chant outside of the Cairo courthouse where former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak awaited a verdict in his trial, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • Riot police stand guard as anti-Mubarak protesters chant in the background in Cairo, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Saafee from: Ellensburg
June 02, 2012 3:53 PM
What happened to israel to help his buddie go to jail for 50 years

by: Abugrago from: Wa campus-UDS.
June 02, 2012 11:35 AM
I wish that punitive measures should be extended to African leaders who are found to be in the same category so that the life of it citizenry will be secured

by: Michael from: USA
June 02, 2012 9:59 AM
Mr Mubarak sincerely confused silence in the face of corruption, and silence in the sense of taking a moral stand when chaos breaks out

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
June 02, 2012 4:40 AM
Mr. Mubarak isn't fair if he pretends to be bed-rest. I don't know exactlly whether he is acused to be death or not. But it's true that there is a moovement that death should be expeled as a punishment for the acused from the point of human rights. Mr. Mubarak is no longer a human???

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