With Egypt paying rapt attention to the long-awaited trial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, which many feared he would weasel his way out of, Ahram Online gets the initial reactions by some of the most important political parties as well as famillies of victims of the revolution. .
Tafida Ramadan, mother of a martyr
Tafida Ramadan's 22-year-old son, Islam Hassan died during the revolution.
"I feel like I'm soaring from happiness. I have been stationed in front of the TV all morning waiting to see him [Mubarak] being tried. Mubarak and his sons are the ones who killed our children and I feel, finally that justice is being brought to my son. God willing, I will be even happier when he is sentenced."
Ali Hassan, Father of a martyr
Ali Hassan's 20-year-old son, Mohab, also died during the revolution.
"For the first time since my son died I feel hope and that my son did not die in vain. Finally the country is heading in the right direction."
Rabie, Injured from the revolution
Rabie Mohamed, a 31-year-old who was shot in the eye during the revolution on 28 January, the "Friday of Anger," says that seeing Mubarak on trial has finally made him feel that his loss was not in vain.
"Watching the trial has cooled my heart and that of all those who were injured," Mohamed said. "My eyes are brimming with happiness and I feel that the blood of the martyrs, who I used to carry as they were shot during the revolution, is finally starting to dry on my hands."
However, Mohamed said that he hopes that the trial provides real justice for the people and is not just a show to pacify Egyptians.
"I hope that this trial brings justice and they are not just parading Mubarak down to pacify us," Mohamed insisted.
Mohamed Adel, 6th of April Movement
Mohamed Adel, the official spokesperson of the 6th of April Movement said that the group which has been putting pressure on Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to bring Mubarak to Cairo from the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh to be tried are happy with the proceedings so far.
"The most important aspect is that the trial is public, which means that it will be transparent and just," Adel told Ahram Online. "It has also revealed all the malicious lies made by Mubarak's lawyer Fareed El-Deeb, who for weeks has kept insisting that Mubarak is in ill health; going in and out of a coma and cannot stand trial. From what we can see he looks fit, and the fact that he is on a hospital stretcher in the suspects’ cage is only an attempt to gain the sympathy of the Egyptian people."
Adel also added that the Tahrir Square protests, which the 6th of April Movement and other groups have conducted in the past few months was one of the reasons Egyptians are seeing Mubarak on trial today.
"The protests have put pressure on them [SCAR] to bring Mubarak from Sharm El-Sheikh and try him. Without this pressure Mubarak may never have been tried - at least not in Cairo," Adel concluded.
Abdel Rahman Sameer, January 25 Youth Coalition
Mubarak's trial is the "first real achievement of this revolution. The image of Mubarak in the suspects' cage will be forever imprinted in the mind of the new president."
Samer added that the trial will definitely earn the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces some much-needed points among the revolutionaries, but the day of sentencing will be definitive.
Amin Eskandar, El Karama Party
Amin Eskander says "Mubarak's appearance in court today shows that the judiciary is serious about looking into all his crimes. It seems that many cases are going to be opened in the coming sessions.
However, it is very obvious that his defence, who asked for an extensive number of witnesses, will use every means possible to prolong the trial. For him the aim is to rig the trial and not allow justice to be served. But no matter how much Mubarak and his team tries, this trial will reveal the extensive corruption that took place during the 30 years he was in power and everything will be discussed; whether it be stealing, bribery, killing or the selling of gas to Israel [at below-market prices]."
Mohamed El Kassas, January 25 Youth Coalition
Today is a day of "great happiness," for all Egyptians and that finally "everyone is equal before the law, no matter who they are."
"This is the fruit of the January 25 Revolution, but seeing Mubarak today in court is especially the fruit of all those youth who remained in the 8 July sit-in in Tahrir Square and in other Egyptian cities; suffrering the heat and in very difficult circumstances. The Egyptian media needs to admit this and recognise their efforts.
Also, all those who have been detained during the past few weeks because they participated in the protests need to be released."
We are all Khaled Said
The "We are all Khaled Said," Facebook page which has been credited for being one of the initiators of the revolution, has posted a photo of ousted president Hosni Mubarak on a stretcher inside the suspects' dock with the comment "and for the first time in Egypt's 7,000-year history a pharaoh is in the cage with his two sons and his interior minister. Mubarak is in the court cage lying on a bed with his two sons [by his side]."
Half an hour later, this was followed by a post: "Mubarak looks in very good health, in my opinion."
Emad Gad, political analyst, Social Democratic Party
Emad Gad, opines that: "Mubarak's trial today shows that the January 25 Revolution is a real revolution and not just a movement for change or reform, which it at first seemed like. It managed to stop Mubarak's younger son, Gamal, from inheriting power and decreased the presidential term to four years from six, what it used to be limited to.
However, it seems now that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is finally dealing with this as a real revolution."
"Also," Gad continued "today's proceedings have shown that the Egyptian revolution is civilised and that we did not hold special revolutionary courts to try him, but rather put him on trial in a normal court with a defence lawyer, unlike what happened in other countries such as Romania, where the president was executed after an ad hoc trial. Also, I think today's trial calmed the revolutionary youth and showed them that their revolution was not hijacked - no matter what other political forces, such as the Salafists, have tried to do in previous months."
Ayman Nour, Ghad Party
Ayman Nour, one of the leaders of the Ghad Party, who went head-to-head with Mubarak in the 2005 presidential race and was then thrown in jail by the ousted president on corruption charges, said that he was shocked to see Mubarak in the cage because, actually, he expected him to be a no-show.
"But now that he is being tried, I want to say to all the martyrs who died in this revolution that they can now lay in peace because justice will finally be served," Nour said. "This is not just Mubarak’s trial; it is the trial of an era."
Essam Derbala, the head of the Shura Council of the Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya says that "This trial has several very significant meanings. Firstly, SCAF has fulfilled their promises to try Mubarak and do so publicly, which is a step that will give Egypt legal legitimacy and will remove any suspicion towards the judiciary.
The fact that Mubarak is being tried for corruption doesn't mean that this is his only crime; he has to be also tried for destroying Egypt's political life by rigging the elections during his reign, which means that our parliament was never representative of the will of the people," Derbala continued.
"Mubarak's trial also shows that the era of the Egyptian pharaoh is over. We are used to having rulers who behave like pharaohs and remain in safely in power until they die. But today we have proven that that is no longer the case by trying this disrespectful Pharaoh Mubarak."
Amr Hashem, political analyst
I found today's proceedings quite satisfiying and that no violations took place during the session.
"I think the trial means three main things: Firstly, it gives the Egyptian judiciary weight. Secondly, it shows that the million man marches that have been held in the past few months are good pressure mechanisms for protesters' demands. Thirdly, it is a historic lesson for all the coming leaders in Egypt."
Ahmed Ezzat, a lawyer of the revolution, who coordinates the Popular Committees to Protect the [demands of] the Revolution
I'm angry because tens of victims' lawyers, who had arrived early today at the police academy courthouse, were not allowed to enter.
"This is discrimination, extremely unfair and is definitely a negative influence on this trial," Ezzat said.
He also added that the proceedings were "unbalanced," because the judge allowed the defendants' lawyers, namely Fareed El-Deeb, the chance to freely express themselves and ordered the attendees to shush to give way for him to speak, but conversely, when it was the victims' lawyers turn, the judge allowed chaos to rule and all of them to speak at the same time.
"This is not fair and we would really like to see it more organised in the coming sessions," Ezzat stressed.
Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party
Mohamed Saad El-Katatny, the party's secretary-general, released a statement calling the trial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, his two sons Alaa and Gamal and the former minister of interior Habib El Adly and other former officials a "unique event in the history of Egypt's political life and a new victory for the will of the people after the January 25 revolution, which made the trials of these people a top priority in its demands.`"
El-Katatny also said that the presence of these kind of people inside of the defendant's cage, under the gaze of millions of people across television screens, has made Egyptian people feel safe and secure that justice will be served and that no criminal will get away with their crime, no matter who they are.
El-Katatny added that what happened today has built strong bridges of trust between the people and the ruling authority in Egypt during this time, and this trust needs to be enforced as it will become the gate from which a new stage can begin towards building a new society and development in all fields.
Today's trial, added El-Katatny, is an important step towards trying all those responsible for the deaths of protesters during the revolution and that it is vital that they are not permitted to get away with other crimes such as the rigging of elections and destroying Egypt's political and economic life over the past few decades. These crimes, the Brotherhood member concluded, have no less weight than murder and the misappropriation of public funds.