Egypt's Mubarak gets life in prison

2012-06-02 10:30

Cairo - Egypt's ex-president Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison on Saturday for his role in the killing of protesters during last year's revolution that forced him from power, a verdict that caps a stunning fall from grace for a man who ruled the country as his personal fiefdom for nearly three decades.

The harsh sentence against the 84-year-old former leader appeared aimed at defusing tensions ahead of a divisive run-off presidential race that pits Mubarak's last prime minister against the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate.

Mubarak, the first Arab leader to be tried in his own country, remained silent inside a court cage while his once-powerful sons appeared nervous and had dark circles under their eyes.

His eldest son Alaa whispered verses from the Qur'an.

The 84-year-old Mubarak was then ferried in a helicopter away from the police academy that was used by the court in Cairo.

Scuffles break out

Scuffles between Mubarak supporters and opponents broke out inside and outside the courtroom after the verdict was read, reflecting the deep polarisation of the country since Mubarak was overthrown on 11 February 2011.

Thousands of riot police cordoned off the building to prevent protesters and relatives of those slain during the uprising from getting too close.

Hundreds stood outside, waving Egyptian flags and chanting slogans demanding "retribution". Some spread Mubarak's picture on the asphalt and walked over it.

Mubarak and his two sons - Gamal and Alaa - were acquitted on corruption charges, but the sons still faced a separate trial on charges of insider trading.

Ex-interior minister Habib el-Adly also was sentenced to life for the protester killings. Six other security officials were acquitted.

30 years of darkness

Judge Ahmed Rifaat delivered a strongly worded statement before handing down the sentences. Mubarak, who wore sunglasses and a light brown jacket over his clothes, and his co-defendants were in an iron cage.

Rifaat described Mubarak's era as "30 years of darkness" and "a darkened nightmare" that ended only when Egyptians rose up to demand change.

"They peacefully demanded democracy from rulers who held tight grip on power," the judge said.

Rifaat, who was presiding over his last court session before he retires, said Mubarak and el-Adly did not act to stop the killings during 18-day days of mass protests that were met by a deadly crackdown of security forces on unarmed demonstrators.

More than 850 protesters were killed, most shot to death, in Cairo and other major cities.

Mubarak's verdict came just days after presidential elections have been boiled down to a June 16-17 contest between Mubarak's last prime minister, one-time protégé Ahmed Shafiq, and Mubarak's top foe, a Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi.

  • Jan - 2012-06-02 10:36

    Egyptians are cutting their nose to spite their face. Their country is finished now - another iran in the making. To think that pre-islamic conquests it was one of the most advanced civilizations in the world. Goes to show the dangers of religious barbarians. Tragedy.

      Johan - 2012-06-02 12:07

      Boeremag supporter Jan?

      Jan - 2012-06-02 12:22

      No certainly not - could never support anyone who wants to bring this country down.

      Jerzy - 2012-06-02 14:39

      Goes to show idiotic barbarians are allowed to post. Egyptians survived on less then $2 a day, thanks to this US backed dictator. This has nothing to do with religion. Did apartheid have anything to do with religion? Was it sanctioned by the churches?

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-02 10:46

    What a great day for the Egyptians, to see that the ones who terrorized them for more than 30 years, are now punished. And a warning to any dictator; it might take time, but the "people" will get their justice!!!

  • Vic - 2012-06-02 10:54

    One by one the dictators are falling which is good news. Next two I would like to see are Assad and Mugabe, but the latter is being protected by SADC.

      lulama.makopo - 2012-06-02 12:25

      @vic who told u mugabe is a dictator,if u dont have anything to say pls keep quit

      Jan - 2012-06-02 12:32

      Lulama - Mugabe is a tyrant if not a dictator - hes taken his people and country into the worst strife known to any country. He is a racist and a fascist. Down with tyrants i say.

      Vic - 2012-06-02 13:56

      Lulama, you're a student, don't display your ignorance. Were you around in the 80's when he was behind the massacre of civilians in Matabeleland by North Korean forces, or the murders his party have committed to date, just to stay in power? You make sure of your facts. before you open your trap.

  • africanwolf - 2012-06-02 10:55

    No surprise This how we should handle all greedy dictators

      Jan - 2012-06-02 10:56

      He might have been a dictator but at least his country prospered and was stable compared to a democracy like South Africa were the masses are denied basic rights? Which would you prefer?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-02 11:11

      Jan, Strange comment, very strange !!

  • maama.bujju - 2012-06-02 11:07

    its time for paying next mugabe of zimbabwe,museveni of uganda.

  • wtheka - 2012-06-02 11:08

    Ja 50yrs is nie n' Pap en Vleis nie,,,

  • Hannes Truter - 2012-06-02 11:35

    Mugaboon will join him soon and let this be a warning to the rest of Africa as well as SA politicians

  • Ryno - 2012-06-02 11:45

    JZ / ANC: take note: it can happen in SA also - very soon!!

      Jan - 2012-06-02 12:27

      As long as the black man remains in poverty and remains with poor educational infrastructure and remains illiterate, as long as white people continue to spew hateful comments against black people which instills more fear in them and which in turn directly makes them think twice into voting for a so-called white party like the DA - this will never happen in South Africa.

      Millos Mpofu - 2012-06-03 06:06

      Sorry Ryno it won't happen here maybe if the DA rule in 3000 and refuse to handy power to the winning party it my happen so the ANC is the only Party in Africa which love to work with opposition and they sure those who fail and dived us that how can you lead different culture in the country /world

  • Taetjo - 2012-06-02 11:52


  • luzukotosh - 2012-06-02 12:06

    The syria president should get death sentence

  • manaf.abubakari - 2012-06-02 12:16


      Jan - 2012-06-02 12:29

      If making peace with your neighbour makes you a betrayer of your people than the people are a pathetic group of barbarians. What courage ? The conviction lacks any credibility - how can your accusers be your judge and sentencer?

  • manaf.abubakari - 2012-06-02 12:17


  • manaf.abubakari - 2012-06-02 12:23


      Vic - 2012-06-02 12:39

      Manaf, your comment makes no sense at all. Why should America, or Israel come to the aid of a murderous dictator? And, what might that permanent American agenda be, to which you refer?

      Jan - 2012-06-02 12:58

      Manaf its clear you hate americans but you have no problem using their military's invention i.e. the internet and no doubt you travel on its aircraft, use its militarys GPS satelites and probably using american software and computer hardware to write this anti american comment. You should be ashamed of yourself!

      Ditiro - 2012-06-02 13:20

      @Vic your wrong dictator or not, he kept peace with israel thats why the blood thirsty muslim brotherhood hated him so much, look at what is happening at the bother between egypt and israel its a free for all thats why israel now has proposed to build a 200km wall on the borde, i have never heard of a dictator who wants peace let alone an arab leader who wants peace with israel

      Ditiro - 2012-06-02 13:25

      jan don't be a be like that, people that choose to use western inventions consisting of raw material from africa by the way, paid for them so its fair game. me driving a BMW or Merc from the west or anything for that matter from the west doesn't mean i HAVE to like the west, people with that analogy i find them to be quite stupid

      Jan - 2012-06-02 13:37

      Ditiro - if anything it makes you a hypocrite if you use products invented by your enemy to live a comfortable life but still want that enemy destroyed - like cutting your nose to spite your face! I agree with your first comment though about the situation in Egypt.

  • julie.khan3 - 2012-06-02 12:29

    Justice Done!!!Bastille Stormed!!

      Jan - 2012-06-02 12:35

      Julie what Mubarak is alleged to have done is NOTHING compared to Syria's Mr Assad.

  • kabelo.murovhi - 2012-06-02 14:15

    it's good news 4 africa.people like these d'not belong in any goverment,people died 4 thier selfish agenda.hope more will b convicted.

  • Keith - 2012-06-02 17:48

    What about the Queen Dictator of the UK ?? Why not revolt against her to step down ?? More than 40 yrs in power means a Dictator send in the Arab drones to take out Davie Cameroon first the idiot is so corrupt.

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