CLEARED: Egyptian judge drops case against ousted president Mubarak over killings of anti-government protesters and also cleared of him of graft charges involving a gas deal with Israel.
An Egyptian court on Saturday dropped the case against ousted President Hosni Mubarak for his involvement in the killing of antigovernment protesters in 2011.
Egypt’s former interior minister, Habib al-Adly, and his aides have also been cleared of ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising that ended Mubarak’s three-decade rule.
The court also cleared Mubarak and a former oil minister of graft charges related to gas exports to Israel.
In a separate corruption case, charges were dropped against Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal, with Judge Mahmoud Kamel al-Rashidi saying too much time had elapsed since the alleged crime took place for the court to rule on the matter.
Mubarak was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2012, but the verdict was overturned on appeal.
The 86-year-old former leader will not walk free after Saturday’s verdicts, however. He was found guilty in May in another case related to theft of public funds and has been serving that three-year sentence while under house arrest for medical reasons in an army hospital in an upscale Cairo suburb.
Saturday’s rulings can be appealed.
Judge al-Rashidi said that those injured in the protests and the families of those who died should be compensated. He also said that the court had ruled according to the evidence placed before it and that Mubarak would be judged by history and by God.
The judgment was greeted by cries of joy by Mubarak supporters in the courtroom. The former president, his sons and the other defendants smiled broadly and Mubarak waved to his supporters.
While Mubarak’s supporters called for celebrations, the Egyptian army was deployed in all Cairo’s main squares, including Tahrir Square, to prevent clashes between supporters and opponents of the former president.
Outraged by the judgment, the families of the dead protesters gathered in an unruly crowd in a large open area opposite the court, which was held in the police academy in Cairo’s Fifth District.
Ahmed Abed Aljuwad, one of the lawyers for the families and chairman of the Egyptian Bar Association, described the judgment as “difficult” and said it would have political repercussions in Egypt because it meant that no one had been found responsible for the deaths of hundreds of protesters and the wounding of thousands.
He predicted that the state prosecutor would appeal the verdict and that the families would launch civil claims.
AP and Reuters contributed to the report
View original HAARETZ publication at: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.629081