Egypt’s former longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak was cleared of charges in a retrial on Saturday and may be released soon.
A Cairo judge dismissed charges that linked Mubarak to the deaths of hundreds of protesters in the 2011 revolt, reversing his convictions in 2012 and finding him not guilty of corruption, CNN reported.
Mubarak ruled Egypt as president for 29 years. The 86-year-old reclined on a hospital gurney in court while fellow defendants kissed him on the head as the judge announced his decision.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Hosni Mubarak” author_title=”Former President of Egypt”]
I laughed when I heard the first verdict. When it came to the second verdict, I said I was waiting. It would go either way. It wouldn’t have made a difference to me either way.
Mubarak had been convicted of inciting, arranging and assisting to kill protesters during the 2011 uprising. He had been sentenced to life in prison. His appeal for a new trial was granted in 2013.
Mubarak was accused of sanctioning the murder of 846 peaceful protesters during the uprising, and profiting from the export of gas at below-market rates, the Guardian reported.
Mubarak’s former Interior Minister Habib el-Adly and six of el-Adly’s aides were also acquitted after they were convicted of being connected to the deaths of 239 protesters. Mubarak’s two sons were acquitted of corruption.
The ruling leaves Mubarak convicted of a single crime: he was found guilty in May on separate charges of misusing public funds. His sentence will end soon.
Judge Rashidi, who led a three-judge panel, would not elaborate on the panel’s reasoning but pointed to the 280-page summary of the court’s 1,340-page explanation of the case. He said the ruling had nothing to do with politics, the New York Times reported.
Both sides have alleged the trial is highly politicized. Supporters argue Mubarak was unfairly vilified, while opponents feared that he would be acquitted with memories of the revolution fading.
In January 2011, Egyptians filled the streets of Cairo to protest poverty, repression and unemployment in the country. Protesters called for Mubarak to step down and were met by an often violent government crackdown. Mubarak eventually stepped down later that year.