Mubarak verdict postponed to Nov 29
Former president Hosni Mubarak - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Hosni Mubarak’s trial on charges of killing protesters during the January 25 Revolution in 2011 was adjourned to Nov. 29 by presiding judge Mahmoud Kamel el-Rashidi Saturday morning.

The announcement comes contrary to expectations for a final verdict in this case Saturday, as had been announced by the court Aug. 13.

Mubarak’s sons Gamal and Alaa, former Minister of Interior Habib al-Adly and six of his aides, in addition to runaway business tycoon Hussein Salem are co-defendants in the case.

“This is the case of a nation,” Rashidi stated at the beginning of the session. Rashidi added that the court looked into 160,000 documents for this case, which was cited as the reason for the postponement of the verdict. The court also aired a brief documentary about the documents entered into evidence in Saturday’s morning session.

Security forces were intensively deployed in the vicinity of the Police Academy where the session was held; for the first time cavalry troops combed the area and Special Forces and anti-riots forces deployed as well in anticipation of any possible violence, al-Shorouk reported Saturday.

In case Mubarak is found guilty, the verdict may still be appealed before a cassation court, which will then hold two sessions; one for the court procedures and one for the final verdict, which would then be final and beyond appeal.

A fact-finding committee in April 2011 announced that Mubarak and his administration were responsible for the estimated 846 “martyrs” killed during the January 25 Revolution. The report added that there were an estimated 6,467 protesters injured, and that the police and Interior Ministry had organized attacks, including snipers shooting down from buildings, against those demonstrating.

On June 2012, the court headed by Ahmed Refaat sentenced Mubarak and his former Minister of Interior Habib al-Adly to life in prison over charges of killing peaceful protestors.

The verdict was appealed later in May 2013, and 54 sessions have been held in the appeal of what local media dubbed the “Trial of the Century,” including closed sessions.

Following June 30 and the toppling of the former Muslim Brotherhood regime and president Mohamed Morsi, the defendants and their lawyers changed their speech to be more focused on the concepts of “conspiracy against the state,” in an attempt to categorize the revolution of Jan. 25 as a conspiracy.

Adly described the January 25 Revolution as a “conspiracy” and said that the only real revolution was the events of June 30 during the trial session Aug. 13.

Public response

The 6 April Movement announced earlier this week that it planned to participate in demonstrations Sept.27 in front of the Press Syndicate by 5 p.m. along with other movements.

Group member Amr Ali stated Friday they would “remind Egyptians of Mubarak’s crimes that spanned more than 30 years.” However, there have been disagreements among different revolutionary groups on escalation as a means to object what they have referred to as a mock trial.

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have also planned protests; the National Alliance Supporting Legitimacy (NASL) declared on Thursday that protests, started Friday, would continue across the country for the entire coming week.

Mubarak sympathizers, mostly members of a pro-Mubarak campaign launched during the popular revolution against him, gathered in front of the Police Academy early Saturday morning and in front of the Maadi Military Hospital, where Mubarak is due to return after the trial.

Tarek Al-Khouly, founder of the Third Republic Youth Front stated Friday that civilian law is “incapable” of judging Mubarak.

“The old regime has blurred all evidences that prove that they are guilty, and the new coming parliament should repeat this trial,” he said.

A number of activists, including the April 6 Youth Movement have condemned the “systematic release” or non-accountability of Mubarak-era officials. Some have even launched a campaign on Facebook titled “If Mubarak is declared innocent we will run naked to Tahrir.”The Kefaya movement as well had called for demonstrations Saturday. “The evidence presented by the prosecution in the trial was not enough,” member Mohsen Hashem told The Cairo Post.In the event Mubarak is acquitted in the final verdict in the case of killing protesters, he would still remain in prison; Mubarak was sentenced May 21 to three years in prison, his sons to four years in prison, on charges of embezzling 125 million EGP ($18 million) from funds allocated to presidential palaces, forging official documents, and wasting public funds.

The court had also imposed on the convicts to pay back a sum of 21.2 million EGP.

Mubarak and his sons are to stand before court again on Nov. 13, in the case of stock embezzlement in which the defendants are accused of obtaining money unlawfully by selling the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) to the National Bank of Kuwait, receiving 2.5 billion EGP ($349.5 million) in the bank sale in violation of capital market and Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) laws.

A trial session is also due on Nov. 22 in the case of wasting public funds in the Egypt-Israeli gas export, in which former minister of petroleum Sameh Fahmy and other state officials are involved, including Hussein Salem and Mubarak.

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