Justice Minister says army ousted Mubarak on Feb. 10: report

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CAIRO: Egypt’s army ousted president Hosni Mubarak from power 24 hours before he officially stepped down, the state-owned Al-Akhbar newspaper reported Sunday citing Justice Minster Abdel-Aziz El-Gindi.

El-Gindi was quoted as saying during a meeting with businessmen in Alexandria Saturday that Mubarak was obligated to leave after the military decided to overthrow him.

Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11 following an 18-day nationwide uprising that demanded his ouster, handing over authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

That morning, the army allowed thousands of protesters to demonstrate in front of the presidential palace in Heliopolis as well as outside the Maspero State TV building.

According to El-Gindi, the army council led by Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi met on Feb. 10 in the absence of Mubarak, deciding to support the legitimate demands of the January 25 Revolution and declining to use force against protesters.

Mubarak, in his capacity as the military commander, ordered the armed forces to deploy on the Egyptian streets on Jan. 28, imposing a curfew in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez.

On that day, dubbed the “Friday of Anger,” the police dealt violently with anti-regime demonstrators, killing hundreds, which led to clashes between the two sides. At the time, protesters welcomed the military forces who took over security after police disappeared from the streets creating a security vacuum.

Unconfirmed rumors frequently said the army forced Mubarak to leave, refusing to carry out his orders and shoot protesters.

Last month, Mubarak was accused of illicit gain, profiteering as well as being involved in the killing of protesters. The prosecution remanded him in custody pending further investigation. He is held in custody inside Sharm El-Sheikh international hospital until his medical state stabilizes enough to be taken to Cairo’s Tora prison.

On April 19, the official fact-finding mission said in a 400-page report that at least 846 were killed and 6,467 injured during the revolution.

The report confirmed that police fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters across Egypt starting Jan. 25, adding police only use live rounds if they are authorized to do so by a committee headed by the interior minister and high ranking police officers.

"The fatal shots were due to firing bullets at the head and the chest," the report read, adding that "a huge number of eye injuries" filled hospitals, and hundreds lost their sight.

The mission held Mubarak ultimately responsible for the killing of the protesters since his interior minister, Habib El-Adly, had issued the orders to open fire. –Additional reporting by Heba Fahmy



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