The Court of Cassation ordered on Thursday that ousted President Hosni Mubarak stand retrial for conspiring to kill protesters during the January 25 revolution.
The retrial was ordered for November 7, 2015, after the public prosecution appealed Mubarak’s acquittal.
Mubarak, his Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and other Interior Ministry officials had been accused of orchestrating the deaths of at least 846 protesters during the January 25, 2011 protests leading to the former president’s ouster. Mubarak was originally found guilty of all charges and sentenced to life in prison in June 2012. However the Cairo Court of Appeals overturned the verdict in 2013, citing lack of evidence from the prosecution and ordering a retrial. Mubarak was cleared of all charges on November 29, 2014, on procedural grounds.
The retrial will take place in front of the Court of Cassation, the highest court in Egypt, and its verdict will be final and not subject to appeal. The same court has already upheld the acquittals of six senior former Interior Ministry members, including Adly, on the same charges.
Hoda Nasrallah, a civil defense lawyer at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), believes that an innocent verdict is also a foregone conclusion in the new trial, particularly after the acquittals were upheld for Adly and the other Interior Ministry officials. Nasrallah had represented some of the families of those killed in the 2011 revolution in the previous Mubarak trial.
“Mubarak will be found innocent, because he was accused of conspiring with Adly. Adly himself was found innocent, so Mubarak will go free,” she told Mada Masr. “What is important today is that the court upheld the Criminal Court’s ruling acquitting Adly of conspiring to kill protesters in 2011.”
The trial represented a “breakdown of justice” from the beginning, Nasrallah argued, as it was riddled with misconduct from the start.
Khaled Abdel Hamid is an activist with the Freedom for the Brave campaign, which supports and advocates for hundreds of political detainees. He told Mada that “today’s court order sends the message that the current regime is confirming to the Interior Ministry and the security apparatus that they are innocent of everything they have done, and everything they will do. The message is that they won’t be held accountable for killing protesters at any time.”
While President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is attempting to present himself as a man standing against Mubarak and his sons, the president clearly does not stand against the “corrupt regime” of which the security apparatus was an integral part, Abdel Hamid argued.
“The message to the police is that they and the regime are united,” he continued, adding that Sisi was forced to send this message to the security apparatus because he needs its support.
“He is a hostage to them, like they have been to him,” Abdel Hamid concluded. “But essentially, we are hostages to all of them.”