CAIRO: “If Saddam Hussein’s execution on Eid al-Adha was a coincidence; then the release of Mubarak’s sons, Gamal and Alaa, on the 4th anniversary of the January 25 Revolution is a coincidence too,” said Mohamed Zarea, the head of the Arab Penal Reform Organization.
It was reported early Monday that the two had been released, per a Cairo Criminal Court decision Thursday Jan. 22 pending a retrial of presidential palaces case, drawing outrage from a number of figures.
On Nov. 29, 2014 former President Hosni Mubarak and all his co-defendants were acquitted of all charges related to corruption, and the charges against them alleging they were responsible in the 2011 killing of January 25 Revolution protesters were dismissed, as the court said the charges were groundless.
Mubarak’s former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly was also acquitted on charges of killing protesters, meaning that none from the upper levels of the Mubarak regime were held responsible for the deaths in January-February 2011.
Zarea told The Cairo Post Monday that the acquittals “clearly show there was no political will to try them since the beginning,” adding “there is no such as a revolution, we may consider what happened earlier as a wave of outrage wave that ended.”
Nasser Amin, a member of the the National Council for Human Rights, told The Cairo Post Monday that this move is just a “natural result to the series of disastrous mistakes” that have taken place in the political life following the revolution.
Amin said he had warned of this move earlier, “We knew that this would be the result.”
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information Director, Gamal Eid, said “we cannot determine if the release in that specific timing was intended, however he noted that large numbers of activists are imprisoned pending investigations daily and others freed when they should be in jail.”
Gamal and Alaa have been released pending a retrial on illicit gains related to funds allocated for upkeep of the presidential palaces. Even if they are found guilty, they are unlikely to serve any further time behind bars; in Egypt time served counts from the time of initial detention by law enforcement, and the sentence for the two is three years, which they have already spent in detention throughout their legal processes.