Egypt Court Clearance for Mubarak Creates Tinderbox

Egypt Court Clearance for Mubarak Creates TinderboxEgypt Court Clearance for Mubarak Creates Tinderbox

A lawmaker lamented a Thursday decision by Egypt's top appeals court to acquit former president, Hosni Mubarak, of any responsibility in the killing of hundreds of people during the 2011 protests that ended his 30-year rule.

Seyyed Mohammad Javad Abtahi, in a talk with ICANA on Friday, added that it would ignite the smoldering feelings of Egyptians and prepare the ground for further unrest in the Arab country.

Mubarak was accused of inciting the deaths of nearly 900 protesters in an 18-day uprising that ended when he stepped down on February 11, 2011. The Court of Cassation rejected an appeal by prosecutors, allowing an acquittal verdict from 2014 to stand. The Cairo-based court rejected demands by lawyers of the victims to reopen civil suits, leaving no option for appeal or retrial.

The ruling swept away the final legal hurdle to Mubarak's release from detention.

The MP noted that the decision results from the dependence of the Egypt's Judiciary on the government of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former military commander who had served in top posts under Mubarak.

"Egypt's Judiciary was the strength of the Arab government until Anwar Sadat [1970-81] decided to bring it under his control," he said. "It led to replacement of many prosecutors and judges with those loyal to the establishment". Abtahi said the decision of Egypt's Judiciary totally disregarded popular demands for bringing the former dictator to justice, and may lead to a new wave of unrest.

"Human rights organizations should object to the ruling, as it is clear that murderers should not be rewarded," he said. Mubarak, 88, has spent most of his time in a military hospital since his arrest in 2011. He had been sentenced to life in 2012 but an appeals court ordered a retrial, which dismissed the charges two years later.

Mubarak's successor, democratically elected Mohamed Morsi, served for only a year before the military headed by Sisi ousted and arrested him in 2013, launching a deadly crackdown on his supporters.


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