The Cairo Criminal Court on Tuesday found three police officers innocent and 11 guilty of killing protesters on 28 January, 2011, the day that police used full force against protesters and the millions-strong protesters responded with a full-blown revolution demanding the ouster of then-president Mubarak.
The 14 low-ranking police officers are from the Hadayek El-Qobba police station in Cairo. In the last hearing, the General Prosecutor had demanded the maximum penalty (the death penalty) for the officers being tried.
The defence argued that no one is able to prove what really happened on 28 January, 2011 dubbed the "Day of Rage." That day, telephone lines, wireless signals and lighting by police stations were cut. Precisely this, argued the defence, makes it impossible to trace where the defendants were situated during the alleged crimes.
A pattern of acquittals has emerged in recent months: on 7 March, 2012, three police officers were acquitted of killing protesters in the Al-Zawaya Al-Hamra area of Cairo. On 8 March, 2012, two other officers were also acquitted for killing protesters in Cairo's El-Sharbia police station.
More than 840 protesters were killed during the 18-day uprising that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak while more than 6,000 others were injured.