Mubarak retrial adjourned, defence lawyer argues autocrat not accountable for killings

Ahram Online, Sunday 3 Aug 2014

Former autocrat Hosni Mubarak is being retried on charges of complicity in the killing of about 850 unarmed protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year rule

Hosni Mubarak
File Photo: Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak sits inside a dock in April at the Police Academy on the outskirts of Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

The trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and former interior minister Habib El-Adly, along with six of his aides, on charges of killing protesters during the 2011 uprising has been adjourned to Monday.

The judge overseeing the trial said the defence's argument will continue through Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday and Thursday will be dedicated to hearing the defence of the other defendants as well as listening to the general prosecution's arguments.

The 86-year-old former autocrat is being retried on charges of complicity in the killing of about 850 unarmed protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year rule.

The arguments of Mubarak's lawyer, Farid El-Deeb, have been controversial, especially among the 2011 uprising's advocates. El-Deeb had argued on Saturday that the January revolution was a US-funded conspiracy against the Mubarak regime.

In his Sunday defence, El-Deeb told the judge that all the heads of security directorates nationwide were acquitted, and thus Mubarak and his aides should be acquitted too.

El-Deeb cited an Egyptian law, number 8 for the year 1952, that states that if the armed forces intervene, then responsibility is transferred to them, and the military chief becomes the one in charge, with the police under his authority.

Egypt's army went to the streets on 28 January 2011 nationwide except in Suez governorate, where they took over on 25 January 2011.

He added that those who killed the January protesters were the criminals who escaped from prisons and police stations who, according to El-Deeb, burned police stations and stole police weapons.

Mubarak was found guilty of conspiring to kill protesters in a verdict of June 2012 and sentenced to life imprisonment, but his conviction was overturned in January 2013 due to procedural failings and a retrial began in April 2013.

Last August, the ex-president – who had been detained for nearly two years since shortly after his deposition – was granted release and placed under house arrest at Cairo's Maadi Hospital.

He was convicted of graft charges in May, and given a three-year jail term, but has not been transferred to prison.

Mubarak's two sons, Alaa and Gamal, are also on trial. They were both also convicted of corruption, each receiving a four-year jail sentence.

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