Cairo Criminal Court will decide on Saturday the destiny of long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak, his sons Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, his former interior minister Habib Al-Adly, six of his close aides, and fugitive businessman Hussein Salem.
Mubarak, Al-Adly, and his six aides are accused of being behind killing and injuring peaceful protesters who took to the streets during the 25 January Revolution in 2011to demand social, political and economic reforms.
Mubarak, his sons, Alaa and Gamal, and Salem are also facing corruption charges that include wasting public funds and exporting Egypt’s natural gas to Israel in return for a price lower than the international market rate.
Mubarak first stood trial in August 2011. He and Al-Adly received 25-year prison sentences in June 2012.
Al-Adly’s six aides and Mubarak’s sons were acquitted.
In February 2013, the Cairo Cassation Court overturned the verdict, granting Mubarak and all his co-defendants a retrial.
Lawyer Gamal Eid, also head of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), finds it hard to predict Saturday’s verdict.
“It is quite difficult to anticipate the verdict in view of the absence of law sovereignty and the lack of a political will to impose it,” he said.
However, lawyer Sayed Ahmed, representing the prosecution, is more optimistic.
“I wish rather than I predict that Mubarak and Al-Adly receive a maximum imprisonment sentence,” Ahmed said. “There is evidence against Mubarak and Al-Adly that the prosecution presented before the court.”
Mubarak, who is 86 years-old, is unlikely to be sentenced to death. Legally, senior citizens above 85 do not receive death sentences.
Ahmed said that Al-Adly’s six aides may receive different sentences depending on the offence each committed which range in severity.
The prosecutor said during the first trial that 225 were killed and 1,635 injured nationwide as they peacefully protested against the deteriorating conditions in the country.
As for the corruption charges, Ahmed said that the report of the technical committee formed by the court regarding the export of gas to Israel came in Mubarak’s favour, which rules out the possibility that he will be handed down a sentence.
“Yet the other committee that examined the charges of wasting public funds had evidence against Mubarak and his sons that his lawyer couldn’t refute,” Ahmed said.
In the first verdict reasoning, the court said it found Mubarak guilty of deliberately refraining from giving the necessary instructions for preserving protester’s lives, their belongings, and the public institutions based on the law and the constitution.
The court added that Mubarak’s reaction came despite his knowledge of the incidents that took place and the participation of thugs in the events, which led to the death and injury of peaceful protesters.
On 28 January 2011, dubbed the Friday of Rage, security forces failed to forcibly disperse hundreds of thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square with tear gas and live ammunition. They eventually lost control, ceding the streets to protesters.
Police stations and prisons were broken into and set ablaze, which allowed thousands of convicts and detainees to escape.
Local and international media outlets documented these incidents by pictures and video footage.
In May 2014, Mubarak was convicted in another trial of embezzlement and sentenced to three years in prison in the case dubbed “the presidential palaces”. Gamal and Alaa Mubarak were handed down four year sentences in the same case.
The three were ordered to pay back about EGP 21m and collectively fined about EGP 125m.