Hosni Mubarak: Egypt court drops murder charges over 2011 killings – BBC News

Hosni Mubarak after his retrial in Cairo, 29 NovemberMubarak waves as he is wheeled out of the court after the verdict

A court in Egypt has dropped all charges against former President Hosni Mubarak over the killing of 239 protesters during the 2011 uprising against him.

The Cairo courtroom erupted in cheers when the judge concluded Mubarak’s retrial by dismissing the case.

Seven of Mr Mubarak’s senior security officials were also acquitted.

Mubarak, 86, is serving a separate three-year sentence for embezzlement of public funds.

Mubarak, his former interior minister, Habib al-Adly, and six others had been convicted of conspiracy to kill and were sentenced to life in prison in June 2012, but a retrial was ordered last year on a technicality.

In all, some 800 people are thought to have been killed as security forces battled protesters in the weeks before Mubarak resigned on 11 February 2011.

Mubarak supporters celebrate after the verdict (location not given), 29 NovemberMubarak supporters celebrated after the verdict

However, the court documents at the trial related to the deaths of 239 people and injuries sustained by 1,588, across 11 of the country’s regions.

Mubarak was wheeled into court on a hospital trolley, wearing sun glasses and looking grim.

As well as the murder charge, Mubarak was also cleared of a corruption charge involving gas exports to Israel.

His sons Gamal and Alaa were also cleared of separate corruption charges by the same court on Saturday.

As supporters cheered the verdict, his sons and co-defendants stooped down to kiss his forehead.

Mubarak’s lawyer, Farid al-Deeb, told AFP news agency the verdict was a “good ruling that proved the integrity of Mubarak’s era”.


At the scene: BBC’s Orla Guerin in Cairo

Outside the police academy that used to bear his name, supporters and opponents of the former president gathered to hear the verdict – separated by police and a few layers of barricades. Hawkers stood on the sidelines offering Mubarak memorabilia.

The Mubarak faithful held aloft portraits of their former leader, calling for him to be acquitted. When the verdict came supporters hugged each other and danced in the streets. One woman told us it was the best moment of her life. “We always knew he was innocent,” she said.

A short distance away bereaved relatives held photos of loved ones killed by the security forces during the revolution of 2011. Several of them had been demanding Mubarak’s execution. When they heard the news, huddled around a car radio, one man collapsed, and starting banging his head with his hands.

The numbers were small on both sides. Journalists and security forces outnumbered the demonstrators. Almost four years after Hosni Mubarak was swept from power, many Egyptians have lost interest in the fate of their former leader.

The verdict means no one has been held responsible for the killing of more than 800 protesters during the 2011 revolution. It is as if the dead committed mass suicide, said one Egyptian journalist on Twitter.


Relatives of those killed in 2011 had awaited Saturday’s verdict with trepidation.

Mahmoud Ibrahim Ali, whose wife was killed, had little faith in the judiciary, believing it simply did the government’s bidding.

“The regime is the same,” he told AP news agency. “Names have changed but everything is the same.”

Amal Shaker with a photo of her son Ahmed, killed during the 2011 uprising, in Cairo, 25 NovemberAmal Shaker with a photo of her late son Ahmed: “Youth that were like flowers were killed”

Amal Shaker, mother of 25-year-old Ahmed who was fatally shot in the back during the 2011 uprising, said before the announcement that she was still waiting for justice.

“Youth that were like flowers were killed,” she told AP news agency. “Four years have passed, where is the trial?”

Mubarak’s elected successor as president, Mohammed Morsi, lasted only a year in power before being ousted by the military in July 2013 during mass anti-government protests.

Army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was subsequently elected in his place and under his rule, TV stations and newspapers have largely dropped criticism of the Mubarak era, correspondents say.


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