Egypt’s prosecutor fights dropping of Mubarak charges

“The prosecutor general has decided to appeal,” it said in a statement on Tuesday. It follows a Cairo court on Saturday ordering charges of murder and corruption to be dropped against Mubarak, who ruled for three decades until being driven from office during the 2011 uprising.

“The ruling was marred by a legal flaw,” the prosecutor’s office said, adding that its decision to appeal was “not influenced by disputes among political groups”.

Mubarak is serving a three-year sentence in a separate graft case.

Seven of Mubarak’s security commanders, including feared ex-interior minister Habib al-Adly, were acquitted on Saturday over the deaths of roughly 800 protesters during the 2011 revolt.

Corruption charges against Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal were also dropped.

The Court of Cassation, the country’s highest court, can now either confirm Saturday’s ruling or decide to cancel it, in which case it would consider the case itself.

An appeals court had previously overturned an initial life sentence for Mubarak in 2012 on a technicality, ordering the retrial that saw the charges dropped on Saturday.

Early release
His lawyer has said the 86-year-old could now see an early release from the military hospital where he is being held, as he has already served two-thirds of his sentence when time held in preliminary detention since his arrest in 2011 is taken into account.

After Saturday’s verdict, more than 1000 protesters gathered at an entrance to Cairo’s Tahrir Square – the epicentre of the anti-Mubarak revolt – chanting slogans against the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Resulting clashes left two people dead and several wounded.

The court’s ruling has come under fire from Mubarak opponents, critics and some leftist leaders, and sparked accusations that the authorities are interfering with the courts.

The government has denied any involvement in court rulings and on Sunday Sisi ordered a review of the criminal code to prevent any legal irregularities.

In his first comment on the verdict, Sisi, who was Mubarak’s intelligence chief, said Egypt was charting a new course.

“The new Egypt … is on a path to establish a modern democratic state based on justice, freedom, equality and a renunciation of corruption,” he said.

Mass trials
The military last year overthrew Mubarak’s Islamist successor, Mohamed Morsi, following mass protests.

A government crackdown targeting Morsi’s supporters has since left at least 1 400 people dead and thousands imprisoned.

Dozens of Morsi supporters have also been sentenced to death or lengthy jail terms after speedy mass trials, which the United Nations says is “unprecedented” in recent history.

Critics accuse Sisi of instituting a regime even more authoritarian than Mubarak’s, stifling dissent and counting on the support of a public exhausted by years of instability.

They say the judiciary, which includes many judges hostile to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, has become one of the government’s main instruments of quashing dissent. – AFP

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Western Cape Judge Mushtak Parker faces second misconduct complaint

The Cape Bar Council says his conduct is ‘unbecoming the holding of judicial office’

‘My biggest fear was getting the virus and dying in...

South African Wuhan evacuee speaks about his nine-week ordeal

Border walls don’t stop viruses, but a blanket amnesty might

Why South Africa should consider amnesty for undocumented migrants in the time of the coronavirus outbreak.

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories