January 9, 2012
January 9, 2012
The trial of Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak, popular as the ‘trial of the century’ will resume on Monday, as judges will begin hearing arguments from the plaintiffs, an Egyptian daily reported on Monday.
The former president, his two sons — Alaa and Gamal –, the former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six senior police officers face charges ranging from corruption to involvement in the deaths of around 850 protesters during the Jan. 25 revolution that succeeded in forcing Mubarak to step down on Feb. 11.
Petitioners say that they have additional proof that Mubarak and his aides should be held accountable for the deaths of hundreds of protesters, Egypt’s al-Masry al-Youm reported.
They are scheduled to present evidence implicating the accused, and focus on the first charge of ordering the shooting. Mubarak also faces charges of corruption.
The chief prosecutor in Mubarak’s trial on Thursday demanded the death sentence for the fallen Egyptian dictator, arguing that he had ordered the killings of anti-regime demonstrators.
“The law foresees the death penalty for premeditated murder,” Mustafa Suleiman told the court at the end of his three-day case against the former president.
In wrapping up his remarks, Suleiman said “the president of the republic is responsible for protecting the people, and the question is not simply one of whether he ordered the killing of protesters, but to know why he did not intervene to stop the violence.”
He also argued that then interior minister Adly could “not have given the order to fire on demonstrators without having been instructed to do so by Mubarak.”
Mubarak and the other defendants deny any responsibility for the deaths.
Mubarak is the only one of the leaders toppled in the wave of protests that have swept the Arab world to stand trial in person. In a country in political and economic disarray, many Egyptians say national renewal will be impossible unless those killed receive justice.
A day before, Suleiman described Mubarak as a “tyrannical leader who sought to hand power to his younger son Gamal, who spread corruption in the country and opened the door to his friends and relatives, ruining the country without any accountability.
The trial began on Aug. 3 after months of protests to pressure the military rulers to place the former strongman on trial along with ex-regime officials.
There was a three months hiatus in which lawyers for the alleged victims unsuccessfully sought the dismissal of Judge Ahmed Refaat, whom they accused of bias towards the defense.
Relatives of those who died in the protests say their hopes to see Mubarak sentenced have been dashed by a string of witnesses who mostly confirmed the defense’s case that the former president never gave orders to shoot protesters.
Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak’s former defense minister and now the country’s military ruler, testified behind closed doors. The court issued a gag order on his testimony, but lawyers say he did not incriminate Mubarak.
Mubarak is in custody in a military hospital on Cairo’s outskirts, where he is being treated for a heart condition. His lawyer says he suffers from stomach cancer.
According to al-Masry al-Youm report, the plaintiffs’ legal team held a meeting on Saturday to determine who would be responsible for presenting their argument. The court asked the team to choose eight lawyers to argue the case.
Meanwhile, several other lawyers boycotted the meeting, saying they are not satisfied with the lawyers assigned the case.
By AL ARABIYA