A political sociologist in Egypt says there is mixed reaction following a decision by an Egyptian judge Saturday to drop all remaining criminal and corruption charges against deposed longtime President Hosni Mubarak.
Mubarak was accused of the killing of hundreds of protesters in the 2011 uprising that forced him to step down after about 30 years in office.
Professor Said Sadek of California Miramar University Egypt said the court ruling was not surprising because there was a lack of evidence to support the charges against Mubarak.
“Many of the evidence have been destroyed and so the evidence was very, very small, there was nothing. … All the records of phone conversations between Mubarak and his top security operators were destroyed,” said Sadek.
He said the 86-year-old former leader’s trial generated sympathy after his supporters said the charges against him were a conspiracy against Egypt.
However, Sadek also said some Egyptians are displeased with the court’s ruling.
“For the victims of the 2011 revolution and those who feel he was responsible for a lot of the legacy of corruption, religious extremism, bad education system, they feel justice has not been done,” said Sadek.
Sadek said supporters of Mubarak launched a series of media campaigns in the last three years to denounce the charges against him. The media campaign, he said, portrayed the former leader as a national hero who is being persecuted with no credible evidence to support the accusations leveled against him.
“They said this revolution was a conspiracy against Egypt’s stability, security, safety and future. … And so people are sympathetic after being exposed to this heavy dosage of media [campaign] and they are sympathizing with him,” said Sadek.
Sadek said opponents of the former president, including protesters who forced him to step down, are disappointed that the charges have been dropped.
He said the credibility of the protesters has so far been diminished because of the negative media campaign by supporters of Mubarak.
“The revolutionaries today negatively portrayed. They have been discredited. Many of them have left the country and they are demonized in the media. Even when they are not happy with the verdict, they cannot mobilize enough public opinion to go to the Tahrir Square to make big demonstrations,” said Sadek.
“People are fed up with revolutions or any attempt to call for big demonstrations. Yesterday (Friday), for example, the Salafis in Egypt tried to mount a big demonstration and they failed in a very disgraceful way. Nobody showed up,” he said.