CAIRO, June 4, 2012 - On Saturday June 2nd, 2012, clashes erupted outside the Police Academy in the fifth settlement on the Eastern outskirts of Cairo where the trial of Mubarak was held. After the Court announced a life sentence for Mubarak, families of the martyrs of the revolution and Mubarak supporters clashed, resulting in 25 injured. At least four people were arrested by the riot police.
Ahmed Refaat, the head judge in the trial of Mubarak and ten other defendants, announced the life sentence for Mubarak and his minister of Interior Habib El Adly and the acquittal of Mubarak’s sons and several senior minister officials. The judgment is largely based on flaws and contradictions among the witnesses in the prosecution’s case, and the fact that the judges did not consider the videos submitted to the court enough evidence to convict the defendants. Refaat added that there was no technical evidence that indicated the victims were killed by gunshot wounds and that the medical evidence did not provide sufficient information concerning the protesters.
In reaction to the court’s verdict, thousands of protesters gathered in down town Cairo’s Tahrir square, the epicentre of the revolution. Later in the evening, protesters in almost 10 governorates began camping in different squares to protest and to call for the cleansing of the judiciary and the execution of Mubarak and El-Adly.
Although Mubarak and El-Adly received the maximum prison sentence under the Egyptian law, the acquittals in the case of the top deputies and Mubarak’s two sons disappointed a great majority of Egyptians. Analysts said that Mubarak’s verdict mocks justice; others described the trial as a political trial. In fact, different political forces and parties denounced the verdict in the case of Mubarak and his interior minister. They believe that Egyptian Intelligence and National Security deliberately blocked the investigation by the prosecutors in the case.
Amnesty International said that the Cairo criminal court failed to deliver justice in the trial of the former president and his officials.
Political analysts believe that the verdict will impact Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections. They say it may hurt candidate Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister under Mubarak and former air force commander. This also may be a chance for Mohamed Morsi, the candidate of the Muslm Brotherhood, to win the support of the liberals who spearheaded the revolution. Ayman Nour, founder of Al Gad liberal party announced that he will vote for Morsi because he is “what is left from the revolution.”
Mohamed Morsi attacked the verdict, saying the institutions that hid evidence from the prosecution should be put to trial, and describing the Mubarak trial as farcical.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Shafik said the verdict shows that nobody is above the law. Earlier, Shafik vowed to fulfil the revolutions demands in an attempt to win more supporters.
Egyptians are now concerned and skeptical whether the runoff round of presidential elections due on June 16th and 17th will take place, or whether the military will use the Mubarak verdict as an excuse to delay the vote.
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