Report on 'Battle of the Camel' spotlights Mubarak regime crimes

Ahmed Eleiba , Thursday 24 Mar 2011

Mubarak and his regime could face trial before the International Criminal Court for crimes perpetrated during his rule, a former ICJ judge tells Ahram Online


In an exclusive interview with Ahram Online, the former judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fouad Riad, revealed that ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is visiting Cairo today to meet with a number of senior officials.

Riad, speaking on the sidelines of discussions of the fact-finding report on the “camel incident”, said that Egypt may become a member of the ICC. He expected Moreno-Ocampo to make the suggestion during his visit.

On another note, Riad called for the prosecution of the pillars of the Mubarak regime if the evidence is there to implicate them in many crimes and violations in front of the ICC.

Riad has experience in bringing former ruling regimes to justice having served for seven years on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.  

He said that first the victims of these violations should be compensated not by taxpayer money but by the officials who are criminally responsible, which is the civil dimension of the issue. This would help establish social harmony in the turbulent aftermath of the revolution.

The international judge said that the responsibility of the Mubarak regime does not only implicate the former president, but anyone who issued orders, regardless of whether or not they were present at the implementation, or was in a position to prevent crimes from occurring.

Ambassador Ahmed Fayeq, chairman of the fact-finding committee that wrote the report on the incident for the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), told a news conference that the committee based its findings on complaints, filed reports, hospitals, the media, investigations, and on sight eyewitnesses during the revolution.

The report documents the death of 685 people, while more than 5,000 were injured.

On top of this are those that disappeared during the revolution. The report also documents the use of live ammunition and the extrajudicial execution of 12 prisoners from the roof of Damanhour prison.

Fayeq added that 127 people suffered multiple wounds in various parts of their bodies which indicate that shots were intentionally fired.

The report also criticised Egypt’s state media for its unprofessional stance against the revolution and revolutionaries, and called for the former information minister Anas El-Feqi to be prosecuted.

Hafez Abu Se’da, head of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR), told Ahram Online that the prosecutor general and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces have received copies of the report to begin their investigations. Abu Se’da added that it is about time such reports carry weight.

Asked if those behind bars should be released if they returned the wealth they obtained illegally, Abu Se’da said this is theoretically possible, especially since Egypt’s customs laws allow for such deals. However, this cannot be applied in criminal cases. He warned that many figures are yet to be implicated, including police officers and members of the former ruling party who remain at large.

Abu Se’da concluded that there are genuine concerns the violations committed against the revolution will continue.

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