Mubarak pleads ‘not guilty’ at Cairo trial

Al Jazeera
03 Aug 2011

Former Egyptian president maintains innocence over charges that include corruption and unlawful killings of protesters.

Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s ousted president, has denied charges of corruption and complicity in the killing of protesters at the start of his historic trial in Cairo.

At his first court appearance on Wednesday, Mubarak spoke from a hospital stretcher where he lay inside a cage for defendants.

“I categorically deny all the charges,” Mubarak said.

The proceedings, in a temporary court at the Police Academy in Cairo, was shown live on state television.

Ahmed Refaat, the presiding judge, later adjourned the trial, announcing that it would resume on August 15.

Mubarak’s trial had been one of the key demands that has united protesters since February 11, the day he was toppled.

The charges he faces includes premeditated murder, the killing of protesters, the failure to use his power to stop abuses against civilians, and his collusion with other individuals in the misuse state funds.

Mubarak’s two sons, Gamal and Alaa, who are also on trial for corruption, denied the charges against them as well.

They accompanied their father inside the metal defendants cage, both wearing white prison uniforms.

Mubarak was flown to Cairo for the trial from Sharm el-Sheikh, the Red Sea resort where he has lived since his removal from power.

In the courtroom, a prosecutor read the charges against Mubarak.

“Yes, I am here,” Mubarak said from his bed, raising his hand slightly when Judge Refaat asked him to identify himself and enter a plea.

‘Looking very alert’

Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros, reporting from outside the court, said: “Mubarak was looking very alert. He has dyed his hair black as we normally see him.

“He is in a bed of course, but I think it will come as somewhat of a surprise to everyone – especially given the reports of his deteriorating and ailing health – that he does look so well and alert at this trial.”

Mubarak’s lawyer Farid el-Deeb, made a number of requests to the court, notably that he wanted to summon a total of more than 1,600 witnesses including Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak’s long-serving defence minister.

Such a proposal has the potential to turn the trial into an interminable exercise.

“[El-Deeb] asked for Tantawi – who is also the defence minister and effectively the person running the country right now – to become a witness within this trial,” our correspondent said.

“He said it was Field Marshal Tantawi who has been in control of this country since the 28th of January.”

Terming it an “important development”, Al Jazeera’s Tadros said: “I think it raises a lot of questions about the proceedings of this trial, how many others serving still – within the government, within the authority, within that structure – are going to be implicated in what is going on”.

More than 800 people were killed and about 6,000 wounded in the 18 days of protests that eventually toppled Mubarak’s regime.

As well as Hosni, Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, other former regime officials also face court charges.

Habib el-Adly, Mubarak’s former interior minister, and six senior police officers are being charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with those killed during the uprising.

Rival groups

After Wednesday’s session, Judge Refaat said Mubarak would be moved to a Cairo hospital and would have to attend the next session of his trial.

He said the court would reconvene the next day in el-Adly’s case.

Outside the heavily secured court site, a screen was erected to show the trial, and crowds gathered to watch the proceedings. Pro- and anti-Mubarak protesters faced off, some hurling stones.

Hundreds of police tried to calm them down. The state news agency said 53 people were injured in the clashes.

At a small pro-Mubarak rally, people chanted “Oh Mubarak, hold your head high” and “We will demolish the prison and burn it down, if Hosni Mubarak is sentenced.”

Counter-chants of “Raise your voice, freedom will not die,” rose from nearby group hostile to Mubarak.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

  1. #1 by k1980 on Thursday, 4 August 2011 - 2:06 am

    When can we see the mamak in a cage in court?

  2. #2 by monsterball on Thursday, 4 August 2011 - 2:56 am

    Mamak heartbroken now…seeing daughter supports BERSIH 2 where is is the KOTORIEST of all KOTORS….hahahahahahaha
    All his 22 years work…shattered by his daughter and mouth keep shut up….feeling so shameful.
    Mamak go to jail… day sure die.
    Better leave him alone and let him suffer the LIVING DEAD life. He is souless now.
    But if he decides to speak out again…hentam tetap hentam.
    The one person I pity is his wife.

  3. #3 by mendela on Thursday, 4 August 2011 - 6:19 am

    There are just too many similarities between the 2, let’s make Mahatiu to go thro’ same treatment too, a trial in front of world wide audiences!

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 4 August 2011 - 8:40 am

    It is precisely because of news like this that makes the Corrupt hit hard at public assemblies and protest, refuse to yield their positions in government, refuse to play by fair election rules, and refuse to concede to and will use all kinds of means to thwart election outcome leading from one thing to another and ultimately either extreme repression or turmoil…..

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Thursday, 4 August 2011 - 8:47 am

    Sama, sama here too if MMK, NR, HH, LLS, SV etc were 2 b put on trial: NOT GUILTY, we r all Tun or abt 2 b Tun, it’s our rights 2 wallop everything

  6. #6 by drngsc on Thursday, 4 August 2011 - 9:23 am

    Hi Kit,

    may I suggest that we do not blog too much about the Arab spring events, as it spooks the insecured, and cause them to react without thinking. It just creates a climate of fear for them, and their knee jerk reaction, is very arbitrary.
    It does our cause not much good too.

    Let us just focus on voting this bunch out.

    We need to change the tenant at Putrajaya. Failure is not an option.

  7. #7 by Godfather on Thursday, 4 August 2011 - 9:38 am

    Jeffrey: What’s the alternative, then ? Keep the rural folks in the dark and feed them with the standard BS everyday ? We must rise against corruption and tyranny, and what better way than to show our own people an example of what is possible.

  8. #8 by Godfather on Thursday, 4 August 2011 - 9:43 am

    Only those who are truly guilty will worry about headlines like “Mamakthir pleads ‘not guilty’ at Kuala Lumpur trial”.

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 4 August 2011 - 10:52 am

    ///Keep the rural folks in the dark and feed them with the standard BS everyday ?/// – Godfather.

    I don’t know how many rural folks read blogs but even if they do and know about Corruption and vote against Corruption & Tyranny what is end result if the Corrupt don’t abide by elections results? This is not an issue just about diseminating Arab Spring to the rural folks: it is more about diseminating of what happens when the Corrupt like (say) Mubarak giving way to peoples’ demand to step down instead of resorting to Gaddafi’s methods of unleashing the army….And what does the incumbent get in conceding and not resorting to violence? It’s People’s “revenge” by putting him on trial of past misdeeds. Its an issue of “revenge” and “fear” and desperation! If this is going to happen – and imagine you were the incumbent with many skeletons in cupboard- would you ever give way and honour elections results knowing the fate that awaits you & your family? See what happens if a big dog corners a cat with no way to flee – the cat fights back tooth and nails because it has nothing to lose. One never puts the opponent in that kind of a desperate spot in which it has nothing to lose. Who that has power is not corrupt and cannot be made accountable? Your jails are enough to keep all of them. I suggest Pakatan consider some kind of amnesty before it ever think of rejoicing an electoral victory if that day comes. For such a day may never come – peacefully- for a long long time to come!

  10. #10 by Godfather on Friday, 5 August 2011 - 9:27 am

    Who says that we are going to corner the cat, and not allow some avenue for it to flee ? The hundreds of billions that have left our shores are just waiting for the bunch of corrupt politicians to show up in countries like Switzerland, UK, Australia and Singapore. At the first sign of trouble, these people will head off to these foreign lands. None will stay behind, except perhaps for Mamakthir and even if we bring Mamakthir to court for abuse of power, he will die before the case gets heard.

    No, we shall not grant amnesty, we shall prosecute those who “forget” to run.

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