Egypt's Mubarak declines to address court

2012-02-22 19:25

Cairo - Egypt's ousted President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday turned down a chance to address the court in the last session before the verdict in the seven-month trial in which he faces the death penalty.

Mubarak, who ran Egypt for 30 years, is accused of complicity in the killing of protesters during the 18-day popular uprising that pushed him from power in February of last year.

More than 800 people were killed during the uprisings, many of them demonstrators shot dead by security forces.

Egyptians have closely followed the case, and many see its slow progress as an indictment of the council of ruling army generals who took power when Mubarak stepped down.

Critics of the military's handling of the transition to democracy say the trial's pace reflects a wider lack of justice for those killed in the uprising. Egyptian courts have so far not punished any police officers for the protester deaths.

Others have criticised the prosecution's handling of the case, saying it has failed to present strong enough evidence to support a murder charge.

The prosecution is asking for the death sentence for Mubarak, usually carried out by hanging in Egypt. Mubarak's defence team argues that he is still president, and thus can only be tried for treason or in a special court.

The judge was expected to set a date for the verdict and sentencing later in the session.

No comment

"I have no comment," Mubarak told the judge on Wednesday. "What the lawyer said is enough".

Mubarak's Interior Minister at the time, however, spoke for an hour and a half, saying the uprising was the result of a foreign plot to destabilise Egypt.

"I reaffirm before you that there were foreign saboteurs who desecrated Egypt's pure land and were supported by internal criminal elements with the aim of undermining Egypt's international and regional standing and attempting to destabilise its political, security and economic stability," said Habib el-Adly.

He ran Mubarak's security services and faces the same charge.

El-Adly said the plot involved "killing peaceful protesters, storming prisons to free terrorist and criminal elements, vandalizing public and private properties and burning policemen inside their vehicles".

Dozens of policemen men were also killed during the uprising.

El-Adly offered his condolences to the families of those killed, prompting lawyers in the room to shout, "Butcher! Execution!"

Six other ranking security officers are being tried in the same case. Mubarak, his sons Gamal and Alaa and a close associate are being tried in a separate case on corruption charges.

Read more on:    hosni mubarak  |  egypt  |  north africa  |  uprisings

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.