Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

  • Air Algerie ‘lost contact’ with flight leaving Burkina Faso

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • France charges Swiss bank UBS with tax fraud

    Read more

  • Israel faces heightened diplomatic pressure as Gaza violence rages

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Netherlands holds day of mourning for victims of flight MH17

    Read more

Middle east

Mubarak retrial adjourned, referred to appeals court

© afp

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-04-13

The retrial of Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak was adjourned on Saturday after the judge referred it to a Cairo appeals court. Mubarak faces charges relating to the deaths of protesters in the 2011 uprising that deposed him.

The judge in the retrial of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak recused himself on Saturday, in a chaotic opening hearing that lasted just seconds and saw a proud and combative Mubarak smile and wave in the dock.

Head judge Mostafa Hassan Abdallah told the court he would send the case to the Court of Appeal, which will then refer the trial to a new circuit, sending the fate of the ousted strongman back to square one.

As the judges filed out of the courtroom, uproar erupted with people shouting and waving their arms. Civil society lawyers attending the trial chanted: "The people want the execution of the president."

In October, the same judge had acquitted the defendants in the infamous "Battle of the Camels" trial, who were accused of sending men on camels and horses to break up a protest during the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak.

Mubarak, his former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six security chiefs were again in the dock -- albeit briefly -- for their alleged complicity in the murder and attempted murder of hundreds of peaceful protesters on January 25-31, 2011.

"This judge and this circuit acquitted all the defendants in the battle of the camels and there is a lot of doubt over their position. This prevents him from conducting this trial," said Amir Salem, a lawyer for the families of victims.

Months of rumours that Mubarak was in a coma or too weak to attend his retrial were put to rest on Saturday as the former leader seemed healthy and strong as he sat in the defendants' cage, smiling and waving to supporters.

"We love you, big man!" a handful of his supporters yelled at him.

His sons Alaa and Gamal, who are also facing a new trial for corruption, also appeared to be in good spirits as they smiled and chatted to their father.

Earlier on Saturday, television footage showed Mubarak wheeled out of an ambulance on a stretcher and taken into the capital's Police Academy in a Cairo suburb for the hearing.

A handful of supporters outside the courthouse held up posters of their former leader, chanting: "Where are the days of Mubarak?" but they were outnumbered by security personnel.

Mubarak was flown to the academy that was once named after him by helicopter from the Cairo military hospital where he is being treated, the official MENA news agency said. He left the compound the same way.

His original trial in August 2011 was a major moment for both Egypt and the region, being the first time an Arab leader deposed by his people had appeared in court in person.

Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, once symbols of Egyptian power and wealth, also faced retrial on corruption charges. Another defendant, business tycoon Hussein Salem, was to be tried in absentia.

Mubarak, who turns 85 in May, has suffered several health scares and MENA even reported him clinically dead at one point as he slipped into a coma.

In January, Egypt's highest court, the Court of Cassation, ordered a retrial for Mubarak after accepting an appeal against his life sentence, citing procedural failings.

Legal experts said the original case verged on the farcical, with patchwork evidence and prosecution witnesses exonerating the defendants.

Adly had also been sentenced to life for involvement in the deaths of protesters, but controversially his security chiefs were acquitted, sparking widespread anger and protests after last June's verdict.

President Mohamed Morsi, who won elections that same month on the Muslim Brotherhood's ticket, had pledged new trials for former regime officials including Mubarak.

But until Saturday's courtroom turmoil, the fate of the ousted strongman has been largely eclipsed by deadly violence and economic woes currently gripping Egypt.

Morsi's presidency has been plagued by unrest and deadly clashes between protesters and police, a revolt in the canal cities, sectarian violence and a devastating economic crisis.

"The country is largely unlikely to pay attention to the trial," said H.A. Hellyer, a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution, ahead of Saturday's hearing.

"There is the potential that the ruling party use the trial to deflect attention from the problems they are facing," he told AFP.

Despite the fact that what happens to Mubarak had seemed of little relevance to many, there is still widespread anger over no one yet being held accountable for nearly 900 deaths during the 18-day uprising in 2011.

Mubarak's epic fall, from dictatorial head of the Arab world's most populous nation to a defendant behind bars, was for many a promising sign the revolution which toppled him was on the right track.

(AFP)

 

Date created : 2013-04-13

  • EGYPT

    Egyptian court sets Mubarak retrial for April 13

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Egyptian court orders Mubarak retrial after appeal

    Read more

  • Egypt

    Egypt’s ex-PM Ahmed Nazif jailed for corruption

    Read more

COMMENT(S)