Mubarak found guilty of role in protesters’ killings (Second Lead)

June 2nd, 2012 - 7:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Cairo, June 2 (IANS) A court in the Egyptian capital sentenced the country’s former president Hosni Mubarak to life imprisonment Saturday after finding him guilty of being involved in protestors’ killings during last year’s uprising, BBC reported.

Mubarak, 84, is the first Arab leader being tried by his own people since the wave of uprising began in Tunisia in late 2010.

The former Egyptian ruler was held guilty for his role in the killing of some 900 protesters during the 18-day revolt that overthrew him last February, Al Jazeera reported. He was convicted after a 10-month trial in a special court.

According to BBC, former interior minister Habib al-Adly also received a life sentence over the deaths of demonstrators. Mubarak and his two sons — Gamal and Alaa — were acquitted on separate charges of corruption.

The judge had to suspend the session as shouting and scuffles erupted in court when the verdict was read out. It was caused by the court’s decision to acquit four senior aides to Adly, who are also widely blamed for the death of protesters.

Outside the court building, Mubarak’s sentencing was greeted by celebrations from relatives of those killed. Firecrackers were set off.

Soha Saeed, wife of one of the victims, shouted: “I’m so happy. I’m so happy.”

The joy, however, did not last for long. It turned into angry shouts as the crowd learned that the former interior minister’s aides had been cleared. The verdict also sparked protests in Suez, a seaport city.

In his preamble, Judge Ahmed Refaat insisted the 10-month trial had been a fair one.

He described the Mubarak era as “30 years of darkness” and praised what he called “the sons of the nation who rose up peacefully for freedom and justice” in the country.

Mubarak, who ruled the country for 30 years, faced a possible death sentence over the killings by security forces last year.

Egypt’s state TV reported Mubarak was set to be moved to the hospital of Tora prison, near Cairo, where a number of figures from the former government are imprisoned for corruption.

Since the beginning of his trial last August, Mubarak has been held in the International Medical Centre outside the capital, as his lawyer said he was in poor health.

Meanwhile, despite their acquittal, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak are to remain in detention.

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