Friday, 6 January 2012

Egypt: Mubarak trials resume

The trials of Hosni Mubarak and his family, as well as some of his cronies, have resumed amid moves to accelerate the process. There has been much resentment at the way the trials have been stretched out, leading to suspicions that senior members of the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF) hope that Mubarak will die before he can be found guilty.

The prosecutors are showing some determination, and this week accused Mubarak of being a corrupt tyrant who had devoted his last ten years in office trying to ensure that his son Gamal succeeded him. They said that he had ordered the killing of protesters when the demonstrations broke out early last year and have announced that they seeking the death sentence.

AFP reports prosecutor Mustafa Khater as saying: “The law foresees the death penalty for premeditated murder.” Given the severity of the charges, seeking the death penalty was always a possibility, but many Egyptians will be shocked to hear the demand put so bluntly for the first time in the trial.

Earlier, both head of SCAF, Mohamed HusseinTantawi, and ex-head of intelligence, Omar Sulaiman, had testified that Mubarak had not ordered security forces to open fire on demonstrators in early 2011 (860 died).

Although there is a popular belief that the Mubaraks salted away billions of dollars, the prosecution said that Alaa and Gamal had illegal assets of rather less: US$340 million.

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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