Mubarak Acquitted of Murder, Corruption

Mubarak Acquitted of Murder, CorruptionMubarak Acquitted of Murder, Corruption

An Egyptian court dismissed Saturday a murder charge against former president Hosni Mubarak over the deaths of protesters during a 2011 uprising, after a dramatic retrial in which he defended his three-decade rule.

The court also acquitted the ex-strongman of a corruption charge, but he will remain in prison because he is serving a three-year sentence in a separate graft case, the AFP reported.

Seven of his security commanders, including former interior minister Habib al-Adly, were acquitted over the demonstrator deaths.

His sons, Alaa and Gamal, had been charged with corruption, but chief judge Mahmud Kamel al-Rashidi also dropped that case.

An appeals court had overturned an initial life sentence for Mubarak in 2012 on a technicality. Saturday’s ruling came after a retrial lasting more than a year in which many witnesses, including his former police and intelligence commanders, appeared to exonerate him in their testimony.  Outside the court venue, a sprawling police academy on Cairo’s outskirts, relatives of those killed in the 18-day uprising were appalled at the ruling.

Protesters at the time vented years of pent-up fury over police abuses and corruption by attacking and torching stations across the country, leaving the interior ministry on the brink of collapse.

Once-banished Mubarak-era officials have made a comeback to Egypt’s politics, using a widespread backlash against former opposition figures blamed for the tumult since the strongman’s overthrow.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab was a senior official in Mubarak’s now dissolved party, something that would have been unthinkable in the months following the strongman’s ouster.

Mubarak’s former military intelligence chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is now president, having won an election after overthrowing Morsi last year.