Mubarak cleared of murder
An Egyptian court yesterday dismissed murder charges against former President Hosni Mubarak in connection with the killing of hundreds of protesters in the 2011 uprising that ended his nearly three-decade rule, citing the "inadmissibility" of the case due to a technicality.
The ruling marks another major setback for the young activists who spearheaded the Arab Spring-inspired uprising nearly four years ago - many of whom are now in prison or have withdrawn from politics.
It will likely reinforce the perception that Mubarak's autocratic state remains in place, albeit led by a new president, former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Judge Mahmoud al-Rashidi said he dismissed the case against Mubarak because his May 2011 referral to trial by prosecutors ignored the "implicit" decision that no criminal charges be filed against him when his security chief and six of his top aides were referred to trial by the same prosecutors two months earlier. Massive protests demanding that Mubarak be put on trial took place in April of that year.
Yesterday's verdict concludes Mubarak's retrial along with his two sons, his security chief, Habib el-Adly, and six top security commanders, who were all acquitted. Also acquitted was wealthy businessman Hussein Salem, a long-time Mubarak friend tried in absentia.
Mubarak, 86, was also acquitted of corruption charges that he faced along with his sons Alaa and Gamal - his one-time heir apparent - over a statute of limitations. All rulings can be appealed.
It was not immediately clear whether Mubarak would now walk free since he is serving a three-year jail term for corruption charges he was convicted of in May. He has been in detention since April 2011, but it is unclear if the past 31/2 years will be considered as time served.