Public prosecutors finished making their case against ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak on Thursday after presenting evidence implicating Mubarak in the murder of unarmed protesters during last year’s 18-day uprising. Prosecutors are now calling for the death penalty to be applied to the deposed head of state, former interior minister Habib El-Adly and six of the latter’s assistants.
On Thursday, lawyer for the prosecution Mostafa Soliman told the court that it was “unbelievable” that Mubarak had not been aware of the anti-regime protests taking place across the country – or the violent police response with which they were met. Soliman also asserted that El-Adly could not have instructed police to fire on protesters except by direct order of the then president.
According to Soliman, Mubarak had revealed his culpability when he admitted to having stepped down as president in February because the army had “failed to perform the role assigned to it.” Soliman asked the court what exactly that role was, especially in light of the fact that violence against protesters had ceased as soon as the army was deployed in the streets.
Soliman went on to point to statements by former interior ministers Mahmoud Wagdy and Mansour El-Eissawy – both appointed after the revolution – in which they asserted that the interior ministry does not have the authority to use live ammunition against protesters without direct permission from the president.
Soliman also told the court that El-Adly had said he had kept the president informed – in detail – about what was taking place across the country, adding that Mubarak had held two ministerial meetings that had ended with orders not to use violence against demonstrators.
The prosecution concluded by stating that the president of the republic was responsible for protecting the Egyptian people, yet Mubarak had failed to stop police violence against unarmed Egyptian protesters.
When trial proceedings resume next Monday, lawyers will discuss the corruption charges arrayed against Mubarak, his two sons – Gamal and Alaa – and runaway business tycoon and Mubarak associate Hussein Salem. The three Mubaraks stand accused of taking bribes from Salem in return for granting the businessman large swathes of state land in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
846 protests were killed and 11,000 were injured during the January protests.