Egypt court drops murder charges against Hosni Mubarak

Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak, his two sons, security chief and six security commanders, were acquitted in yesterday's trial 

Cairo: An Egyptian court on Saturday dismissed murder charges against former President Hosni Mubarak in connection with the killings of hundreds of protesters in the 2011 uprising that ended his nearly three-decade rule, citing the “inadmissibility” of the case due to a technicality.

Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak (centre) waves to the crowd as he is transported from a military helicopter to an ambulance after the court hearing. PIC/AFP
Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak (centre) waves to the crowd as he is transported from a military helicopter to an ambulance after the court hearing. PIC/AFP

The ruling marks another major setback for the young activists who spearheaded the Arab Spring-inspired uprising nearly four years ago — many of whom are now in jail or have withdrawn from politics. It is likely to reinforce the perception that Mubarak’s autocratic state remains in place, albeit led by a new president, former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

Saturday’s verdict concluded Mubarak’s retrial along with his two sons, his security chief and six top security commanders who were all acquitted. Businessman Hussein Salem, a longtime Mubarak friend tried in absentia, was also acquitted.

Mubarak, 86, was also acquitted of corruption charges, along with his sons Alaa and Gamal.

While all rulings can be appealed, it was not immediately clear whether Mubarak would now walk free since he is serving a three-year jail term for corruption charges he was convicted of in May. He has been in detention since April 2011, but it is unclear whether the past three-and-a-half years will be considered as time served.

“There is no justice for the poor,” said Ramadan Ahmed, whose son Mohammed was shot dead in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria during the uprising. “This is Mubarak’s law!”

Nearly 900 protesters were killed in the 18-day uprising that ended when Mubarak stepped down on February 11 and handed over power to the military. The trial, however, was concerned only with the killing of 239 protesters, whose names were cited in the chargesheet.

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