Recap: Mubarak trial verdicts and initial public reactions

Ahram Online , Saturday 2 Jun 2012

Ousted president Hosni Mubarak given life sentence for failing to prevent killing of protesters. Follow Ahram Online's blow-by-blow account for reactions to Saturday's verdicts

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is wheeled out of the  courtroom after his trial in Cairo Ju

16:15 As thousands march towards Tahrir Square, and protests spread across Egypt against Saturday's ruling, we hear news that Mubarak is finally in Tora Prison, to start his life sentence in jail. Follow Ahram Online for further coverage of the events as they unfold.

16:00 Thousands of demonstrators are currently in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Suez's Arbein Square, Al-Qaed Ibrahim Square, protesting the verdict. After calls from several political groups and movements including the Muslim Brotherhood, April 6 Youth Movement and the hardcore football fans the Ultras, more protesters are expected to join.

15:00 Eliminated candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi's presidential campaign calls people to protest in Tahrir Square and all around Egypt to protect the revolution.

"It is time to realise that taking the streets is the only way to protect our revolution and to get rid of the old regime," according to a press statement by Sabbahi's campaign.

The call came in response to today's verdict. "This court ruling is not just and we require justice," read the statement.

14:46 Ahram Online reporter, Bel Trew tweets from the ground:

1000s here at prosecutor-general office. Protesters just smashed windows. Very loud

14:37 It's a mix of impassioned protest, minor clashes and general shock following today's Mubarak-trial rulings. Here are snapshots of Egyptian's varied reactions.


14:29 Egyptian state news agency MENA report via a security source that General Hassan Abdel-Rahman, ex-head of the defunct State Security apparatus, will remain in prison on separate charges for destroying evidence at the security body's headquarters in March 2011.


The source added in an exclusive statements to MENA, that the remaining five aides of El-Adly will appear before prosecutors to discuss measures for their release.


Abdel-Rahman was accused of killing protesters in January 25 Revolution but was found not guilty in Saturday's final court session.

14:12 We are all Khaled Said Facebook page has called on Egyptians to head down to the country's streets and squares to protest Saturday's rulings.

Former presidential candidate Ayman Nour announced on his official Twitter account that following the verdict he will now endorse Morsi in the upcoming presidential elections runoff.

14:02 Ahmed Shafiq's campaign denies Saturday that the runoff presidential candidate suggested he might pardon Mubarak if he is elected later this month.

“We are eager to know who said that if Shafiq becomes the president he will pardon Mubarak,” his campaign said on its official Facebook page.

June's runoff elections pit Shafiq against Brotherhood’s Morsi to become the country's first post-Mubarak president.

“Today’s ruling favours Morsi, so you don’t have to keep linking the verdict with Shafiq,” the campaign added.

“On the contrary, if there were tougher verdicts today we would have congratulated ourselves that Shafiq would be the president.”

13:53 Egypt's state TV reports that Mubarak is suffereing from a serious health problem and is being treated onboard the helicopter.

13:48 Hundreds of protesters are marching in Alexandria, protesting the trial's outcome. The protesters chant against the case's presiding judge: "Ahmed Rifaat, you coward, how much did you sell the martyrs' blood for?" Ant-SCAF and anti-judiciary mottos also pepper the air along the now blocked cornice.

13:39 El-Adly's lawyer, Essam El-Batawi, states that since the court found El-Adly's six aides innocent the former interior minister should also be found not guilty. El-Batawi explained that El-Adly's aides were in the streets during the early days of Egypt's January 25 Revolution following the minister's orders. If they are innocent then he didn’t ask them to shoot protesters, which makes him innocent as well, argues the defendant's lawyer. "The officer in the field is the one who has the right to give orders to open fire, accordingly I will appeal the current rule," El-Batawi said in a phone interview with private television channel CBC.

Earlier Nader Bakkar, the spokesman of Al-Nour Salafist Party, announced that today's rulings should be appealed. "Egyptians are filled with anger and disappointment; why weren’t El-Adly's aides given the same sentence as their boss," Bakkar tweeted in Arabic.

13:32 Ex-presidential hopeful and IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei tweets:

"The past regime is putting itself on trial. The series for aborting the revolution continues with the participation forces. God gives the time but doesn't neglect" (translated from the Arabic)

Guardian stringer Ahmed-Rahman Hussein recieves news from martyr's families in this tweets: "Father of martyr Ahmed Mustafa dies from a heart attack after hearing the verdict"

13:24 An update from Tahrir Square, where protests are heating up:

Hundreds of protesters are gathered in Tahrir Square in protest of the court's verdict in the Mubarak trial. Protesters chant "False! The verdict is false"; "I can hear a martyr's father crying: Who will bring me my child's rights?" and "The people demand the execution of Hosni Mubarak."

In a disquieting flashback to the 18-day uprising, protesters are also chanting, "The people demand the downfall of Hosni Mubarak."

Protesters have started to block entrances to the square by securing the entrances with traffic barricades. Others have gathered at the Mohamed Mahmoud Street entrance, which leads to the reviled Interior Ministry.

A number of protesters attempted to march down Mohamed Mahmoud Street toward the ministry, but a group of other protesters formed a human shield to block their passage to prevent possible violent confrontations.

13:05 AFP reports on Mubarak's arrival to Tora Prison:

Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak whose helicopter landed at Tora prison in Cairo after he was sentenced to life in prison wept and refused to leave the aircraft, a security official told AFP.

"He was crying and would not get out of the helicopter. Security officials spent some time convincing him to get out," the official said. "He's now convinced and will be entering the prison shortly."

13:02 Below are three posts by Ahram Online Editor-in-Chief Hani Shukrallah on Twitter, as he was following the ruling:

@HaniShukrallah tweets: Message to police: kill & torture as you will; you’ll be charged with investigating your crimes and be cleared for lack of evidence

@HaniShukrallah tweets: Mubarak "historic" criminal case investigated by culprits, prosecuted by defense, judged by Mubarak regime

@HaniShukrallah tweets: Ruling on Mubarak & Adly easily shot down on appeal - Judge says no evidence police killed protesters yet convicts two for ordering it!

12:53 Prominent lawyer Amir Salem tells Ahram Online that politics and a "scandalous" miscarriage of justice in the verdict of Mubarak's "trial of the century."

12:50 As some revolutionary groups call for protests around the capital against the verdicts handed down to Mubarak, his sons, his interior minister and six senior police heads, hundreds have already gathered in Tahrir Square to vent their rage.

In Suez's Arbaeen Square, which witnessed the first death in last year's uprising, hundreds of protesters including some of the families of the 'martyrs' are gathering to protest the verdict that many see as a political one. "False verdict" chanted angry demonstrators, describing the ruling that found six senior police officers not guilty of killing protesters during the 18-day uprising.

12:41 According to Al Jazeera Mubashir Masr, protesters are planning a march on the Interior Ministry with an aim to burn the building down.

12:32 Here is a video of Judge Ahmed Rifaat handing down the trail's verdict: ##

12:22 Ahmed Abdel-Ati, media coordinator for Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi, promised to pursue a retrial for whoever betrayed the Egyptian people.

"Today's rule is disappointing to all of us," he said on the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Facebook page, the political wing of the Brotherhood.

12:15 Ahmed Aggour, 24, a protester outside the Police Academy, describes the clashes the erupted after the trial's verdict was announced:

"There is a lot of anger here directed at the security forces, following the verdict. A few moments ago a police car drove up and a group of around 4 to 5 people started hitting the car. Rock throwing began and then around 20 people were chased away by a few hundred Central Security Forces. Other protesters here at the Police Academy, started asking why they were throwing rocks as we are outnumbered. It has calmed down now but is still tense.

Everyone here is extremely upset, they think the verdict is ridiculous - 25 years is not enough, we want the death sentence. At first people were celebrating because they started cheering when they heard Mubarak's sentence and so didn't hear that El-Adly's police aides and Alaa and Gamal were acquitted. The news is sinking in - in particular for the martyrs' families who are distraught. No one has been properly punished for the deaths."

12:07 One of Mubarak's defence lawyers speaks to AFP, stating they will appeal and win:

"We will appeal. The ruling is full of legal flaws from every angle," said Yasser Bahr, a senior member of Mubarak's defence team.

Asked if Mubarak was likely to win the appeal, Bahr said: "We will win, one million percent."

11:48 According Al-Hayat TV, judicial sources state that the prosecution will appeal the acquittals.

11:46 AFP reports: "Mubarak to appeal sentence: lawyer"

11:38 Mubarak has arrived at Tora Prison after being transfered, under the orders of Egypt's prosecutor-general, from the International Medical Centre in Cairo.

11:24 Egypt's prosecutor-general has decided to transfer Hosni Mubarak from the International Medical Centre to Tora Prison.

11:20 Yasmine Walli, our correspondent on the ground, offers us an idea of people's initial reactions to the court's rulings, as they were being read aloud:

"As the judge announced the verdict on Mubarak, protesters and families of the martyrs outside the court began chanting with utter joy "God is great" and "Martyrs blood was not spilled in vain." People were hugging each other with tears in their eyes, feeling elated and proud of the judiciary system. But after the initial sentencing was announced, matters began to go down hill for many standing outside. Violence soon erupted as Gamal and Alaa Mubarak and the six senior police heads were acquitted.  Families of the martyrs soon began heatedly chanting, eventually clashing with the CSF. Soon protesters began chanting for the purging of Egypt's judiciary while pro-Mubarak activists began to leave the scene."

11:08 Here are some more Twitter reactions:

Sultan Al Qassemi tweets: "Egypt's next president will have the authority to pardon Husni Mubarak (if the verdict remains in a court of appeal)"

Hossam Bahgat, mocks the court, tweeting: "The court: who killed the protesters?" (translated from the Arabic)
ayman farag tweets: "So Mubarak's only crimes during his reign were committed at the end of his 30-year rule? And his sons stole the goods too long ago?"

11:01 According Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Shorouk, a group of Mubarak supporters outside the court have been arrested by the CSF for discharging firearms into the air and smashing cars in opposition to the ruling.

11:00 Mubarak's chopper has left the Police Academy.

10:58 Clashes outside the courtroom have stopped. Several protesters have created a human shield between the anti-Mubaraks and the CSF.

10:55 Here's a quick taste of reactions from Twitter:

Mahmoud Salem tweets : "#Mubaraktrial All of the MOI officials are innnocent, Mubarak & his sons cleared of financial corruption charges. fun fun"

Gigi Ibrahim tweets: "Adly’s men out together with Gamal and Alaa under Shafiq is the nightmare of the revolution. Don’t tell me i’m panicking but this is BAD"\

Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center and fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, tweets: "This whole process is a reminder of everything that was lost during a horribly mismanaged transition" and adds "Initial, fleeting satisfaction, followed by disappointment, and then anger. The whole transition in a moment"

10:45 The protest inside the court room is growing more heated, as attendants of the session demand justice for the 'martyrs' of the revolution. Protesters are chanting, "The blood of martyrs will never go." They are also chanting against Mubarak-era minister and presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq.

10:33 The court room has turned into a scene of impassioned protest. Chants of "False, False, False" and "The people demand the removal of the regime."

A fight breaks out within the court room between pro and anti-Mubarak supporters.

10:32 After Judge Rifaat finishes the sentencing, those present in the court room are chating, "The people demand the cleansing of the judiciary."

10:26 [Corrected] Hosni Mubarak is acquitted on all graft charges. The ousted president's life sentence is for the first charge of failing to prevent the killing of protesters.

10:24 Gamal and Alaa Mubarak have been acquitted along with the six senior officers on trial.

10:23 Habib El-Adly has also received a life sentence.

10:21 It's a life sentence for Hosni Mubarak.

10:18 Yasmine Walli, Ahram Online's correspondent outside the Police Academy, describes the scene outside the courtroom:

I'm standing outside the Police Academy, where people are protesting with a very tangible rage. The scene is filled with families of the 'martyrs' and anti-regime protesters. They are calling for justice, which they don’t see taking place.

"I expect Mubarak will be found innocent, the SCAF has stolen the revolution and won't bring any justice," Abdel-Kareem, 27, the brother of a martyr who lost his life on 28 January 2011 says. Protesters are holding big banners with martyrs' pictures and some are raising their shoes as a sign of protest. "Those responsible for killing my son should be killed," repeat many of the martyrs' families outside the courtroom. 

10:15 The Twitter-verse is brimming with comments, many of which are laden with sarcasm.  Here's one response to Mubarak's journey from helicopter to cage:

"We're dealing with a man here who wears sunglasses in an ambulance. Never underestimate him," tweets Tom Gara.

10:02 Rifaat calls out the names of the defendants, who all answer that they are present. The presiding judge then demands complete silence and says that if any voice is heard the session will be immediately be cancelled. He then proceeds, in a relatively long prologue to the trial, to slam Mubarak's regime, saying that January 25 Revolution ended thirty-years of darkness and tyranny. Judge Rifaat said that those who went out to protest against poverty and oppression were peaceful protesters, chanting "Peaceful" with empty stomachs.

Each defendant will be granted three minutes to defend themselves in front of the court.

9:58 Habib El-Adly, Gamal Mubarak, Alaa Mubarak and the ousted leader have just entered the cage. The session begins.

Along with the aforementioned figures, six of El-Adly's aides are also facing charges. They've also been ushered into the cage. Here's a rundown of who they are and what they're being charged:

Six other senior police officers, including four of Adly's former deputies are being charged. They are Hassan Abdel-Rahman, deputy interior minister and head of state security; Adly Fayed, deputy interior minister and head of general security; Ahmed Ramzi, head of the Central Security Forces; and Ismail El-Shaer, former director of security for Cairo.

The other two are interior ministry officials Osama El-Marassi and Omar Faramawi, both directors of security for the Greater Cairo provinces. Marassy and Faramawy are not charged with a role in killing protesters but face charges related to damage caused to Egyptian property and the economy as a result of their failure to anticipate the uprising and secure such property during the protests. Neither man was detained during the trial.

9:51 Judge Ahmed Rifaat and the rest of the panel have arrived. No word on their choice of apparel.

9:38 The ousted president, who is wearing a training suit with a biege top and black trousers and a pair of sunglasses, is wheeled in, lying on a stretcher and wheeled into the Police Academy. For those out there following Mubarak's past fashion picks, the ousted leader was last wheeled in wearing a blue training suit with light blue stripes...and sunglasses.

9:32 Mubarak's been staying at the International Medical Centre. According to Reuters, it isn't exactly hard times for this jailbird:

"Hosni Mubarak has appeared in court lying on a stretcher during his trial, where he faces a verdict on Saturday, but Egypt's former president is living in a comfortable hospital where he is free to see relatives, walk in the garden and exercise, news reports and a source said this week.The newspaper depicted the 84-year-old Mubarak, ousted in an uprising in February 2011, as a cosseted retired official, exercising and swimming as doctors and family attend to his needs at Cairo's International Medical Center (IMC).
The account confirmed reports in other domestic newspapers in the past months that have shown Mubarak, who is formally under arrest, as far more healthy than he appears in the court room, where he lies on his back on a stretcher.
Mubarak occupies a large suite with adjacent rooms for visitors, a swimming pool and a gym outfitted with the latest exercise equipment, Al-Watan said in its report published on Tuesday. It said Mubarak had been visited by Arab leaders of Gulf countries of Kuwait, Oman and the UAE. "Mubarak is in excellent health. The former president will likely remain with us even after the verdict comes out," the hospital source, who has seen the former leader, told Reuters.
The source said Mubarak was free to walk around the garden or swim in a pool, and had a team of doctors including a physiotherapist. Mubarak also received visitors from the Arab world and the ruling military council."This is the best place for him. There is a plane and an airstrip at the hospital to allow for safe movement," the source added."

9:31 Outside the academy, the sun's sweltering heat is forcing some protesters to take refuge in the shade. A group of activists are holding posters of martyr Khaled Said, who was killed by Mubarak's forces in June 2010. The brutal nature of Said's death and the gruesome images of his corpse stoked mounting rage that erupted into countrywide protests on 25 January.

9:30 Mubarak's helicopter has just landed.

9:10  Karima Akra, one of the protesters at the Police Academy told Ahram Online that he showed up today to support the 'martyrs' of the revolution. However, he doesn't think that Mubarak will receive a heavy sentence. Rather he will get a symbolic one while Habib El-Adly gets the toughest sentencing.

Kamal Mohamed, whose son Fares died on 29 January, during the uprising, said that he doesn't know what to expect today, but suspects that the trial may be postponed again. He said that he is not happy with the way the judiciary procedures have been conducted. However, he said that if Mubarak doesn't get the sentence he deserves, people will vote for the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate Mohamed Morsi, because they don't have faith in Mubarak era minister Ahmed Shafiq.

In an interview with the sister of the martyr Ehab, who died on 28 January 2011, "I believe there is no justice; if Mubarak was not the president, he would have been executed long time ago," Nahayat Mohamed, 14, told Ahram Online. Nahayat is planning to boycott the presidential elections run offs.

The families of the 'martyrs' and victims outside the police academy waiting for the trial have set a ladder in the area on fire. The ladder is the symbol of presidential candidate and former PM Ahmed Shafiq in the Egyptian presidential elections

8:55 A handful of pro-Mubaraks have arrived at the police academy. They are holding banners with "Hosni Mubarak is a legend" and "The most honourable Egyptian is Mubarak." They are also chanting "Tell the poor people, the Egyptian revolution was a hoax" and "Acquittal, acquittal."

8:30 Good morning. It's all talk of Mubarak and the trial this Saturday morning, as the ousted strongman, who governed Egypt for 30 years before a popular uprising toppled him last year, will hear a verdict today on whether he is guilty of corruption and complicity in the killing of protesters. Mubarak has not yet arrived at the court.

Thus far, Mubarak's two sons, Gamal and Alaa, have arrived at the Police Academy's criminal court to hear the verdict of their trial. The two are being tried along with former minister of interior Habib El-Adly and six of his aides as well as Mubarak.

The ousted leader has been held in the International Medical Centre since the trial began last August. He is expected to be flown to the academy within an hour.

Today's historic trial sees Mubarak face two separate charges: the first, for ordering the killing of protesters. Former minister of interior Habib El-Adly and six of his aides are also charged for the same crime.

Mubarak and his two sons are further charged for taking bribes from fugitive Egyptian businessman Hussein Salem.

Yasmine Walli, Ahram Online's reporter at the scene, says that there are hundreds of army and Central Security Forces (CSF) securing the court. Several tanks are also positioned in front of the court. Protesters, who arrived early in front of the court, have been chanting against Mubarak, calling for justice for the martyrs of the revolution and demanding the execution of Mubarak.

Anti-Mubarak groups are also holding posters of some of the demonstrators, who died during the 18-day uprising in January 2011.

Pro-Mubarak groups, which are usually present during previous sessions have not yet arrived.

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