Verdict Due in Mubarak Trial in Egypt

An Egyptian court is to deliver its verdict in the murder retrial of Hosni Mubarak, almost four years after the long-time president was overthrown in a popular uprising.

Mubarak, 86, is accused along with seven of his former police commanders of involvement in the killing of hundreds of demonstrators during the 2011 revolt that ended his three-decade rule.

An appeals court overturned an initial life sentence for Mubarak in 2012 on a technicality.

The new verdict was initially scheduled for September 27, but Mahmud Kamel al-Rashidi, the chief judge, postponed it, saying he had not finished writing the reasoning after a retrial that saw thousands of case files presented.

The court is also due to rule on corruption charges levelled against Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal.

If acquitted, Mubarak would not be released because he is serving a three-year sentence in a separate corruption case, a judicial official said.

Ebbing fervour

Saturday’s verdict comes as the revolutionary fervour that unseated Mubarak has largely ebbed across the country.

Mubarak’s Islamist successor Mohamed Morsi was himself removed last year by then-army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is now president.

Morsi was put on trial along with hundreds of others accused of being supporters or members of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Morsi and several top leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood group are accused of committing acts of violence during the anti-Mubarak uprising as well as during huge anti-Morsi protests which prompted the army to remove him.

Several prominent left-leaning youth activists who led the campaign against Mubarak have also been jailed by the authorities for staging unauthorised protests after the June 2013 overthrow of Morsi.

Sisi, who won a presidential election in May, has made law and order and economic stability his top priorities rather than democratic freedoms, the principal demand during the anti-Mubarak uprising.

Mubarak, who attended the trial hearings in an upright stretcher wearing his trademark sunglasses, told the retrial in August that he was nearing the end of his life “with a good conscience”.

“The Hosni Mubarak before you would never have ordered the killings of protesters,” he said.

Habib al-Adli, Mubarak’s former interior minister and co-defendant, accused the Muslim Brotherhood and Palestinian armed groups of attacking protesters during the 2011 uprising to malign the police.

During the retrial, which opened in May 2013, most witnesses, including senior military and police officers under Mubarak, have given testimony seen as favourable to Mubarak.

Source: Agencies