Mubarak gets life imprisonment, sons acquitted

Saturday, June 02, 2012
Cairo: Reading out its verdict a makeshift court sentenced ousted president Hosni Mubarak to life in prison on Saturday for his role in the killing of protesters during last year’s revolution that forced resign on February 11.

Mubarak's interior minister Habib El Adly received similar sentence over the death of demonstrators. 
The 84-year-old is the first former leader to be tried in person since the start of the Arab Spring in early 2011.

Mubarak and his two sons - Gamal and Alaa - were acquitted on separate charges of corruption due to the expiry of a statute of limitations.

Shouting and scuffles erupted in court after the verdict was read out.

Judge Ahmed Rifaat delivered a strongly worded statement before handing down the sentences. Mubarak, who wore sunglasses and a light brown jacket over his clothes, and his co-defendants were in an iron cage.
Judge Rifaat described Mr. Mubarak’s era as “30 years of darkness” and “a darkened nightmare” that ended only when Egyptians rose up to demand change.

“They peacefully demanded democracy from rulers who held tight grip on power,” the judge said.
Judge Rifaat, who was presiding over his last court session before he retires, said Mr. Mubarak and el-Adly did not act to stop the killings during 18-day days of mass protests that were met by a deadly crackdown of security forces on unarmed demonstrators. More than 850 protesters were killed, most shot to death, in Cairo and other major cities.

Notably, the verdict comes at a politically sensitive time, and is not expected to bring a defenitive end to Mubarak's era.

Many Egyptians are deeply disappointed by the choice they now face as Egypt gears up for a presidential runoff slated for June 16-17.  It is between Islamist candidate Mohamed Morsi and Mubarak's close ally and last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq.
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