Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison for his complicity in the murder of throngs of anti-government protesters, ending a trial that shook the Arab world to its very core.
The verdict stunned many and elicited cheers from cities to distant villages. Mubarak and Habib Adli, his former interior minister, who was also sentenced to life, listened to their sentences from behind the mesh of a defendants’ cage.
The court found no evidence that Mubarak actually ordered any of the killings, but blamed him for not using his power and influence to put a stop to the bloodshed.
Before reading the verdict, Judge Ahmed Refaat offered a harsh indictment of Mubarak’s 30-year reign, calling it “without a conscience and with a cold heart.” He added that Mubarak ruled by oppression, kept his people in poverty and allowed Egypt to tumble into “one of the most deteriorated, backward countries.”
Mubarak and Adli were charged with violently trying to quell the revolt that swept them out of power in 2011. More than 800 people were killed by security forces, many of them shot, between January 25 and February 11. The prosecution argued that only Mubarak could have given such a lethal order.
Mubarak, who reportedly is ill, has been residing in a hospital in Cairo. It was not clear if the verdict means he will be transferred to prison.
- What Hosni Mubarak’s trial can and can’t tell us – The Guardian (guardian.co.uk)
- Egypt court to deliver verdict in historic trial of ousted president Mubarak (haaretz.com)
- Mubarak trial verdict may divide Egypt (news.smh.com.au)