Hosni Mubarak Sentenced to Life in Prison

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Egypt's former ruler Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison on Saturday morning, but not everyone is satisfied with the ruling. 

The reaction in the courtroom as the judge read Mubarak's sentence went from good to bad. The judge opened his remarks with a "flowery" extended monologue championing the uprising that "titillated" the crowd, but scuffles broke out when it was announced Mubarak was only receiving life in prison. "The people want to cleanse the judiciary," was chanted by attendees who were hoping for a death sentence. People gathered outside the courtroom had similar polarizing reactions. Protestors gathered in Tahir Square, Alexandria and Suez to voice their displeasure with the verdict. 

Mubarak and his former intior minister, Habib al-Adli, were officially charged with accessory to murder. The judge said Mubarak and Adli were responsible for failing to halt the killings of protestors during the Januar 2011 protests. The judge acknowledged that the prosecution couldn't provide adequate proof that Mubarak or Adli had directly ordered the killings of hundreds of protestors, so he sentenced them for their inaction instead. Mubarak and his two sons were also acquitted of corruption charges. 

Recommended Reading

Human Rights Watch weren't satisfied with the results of the trial either. Six interior ministry officials were acquitted of murder charges, which they say points to the prosecution's failure to investigate the killing the protestors. They praised Mubarak's sentencing, but said "the acquittal of senior ministry of interior officials for the deaths and injuries of peaceful protesters leaves police impunity intact and the victims still waiting for justice."

The two candidates in Egypt's upcoming run-off election had varying reactions. Mohammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, said the verdict, "means that the head of the regime and the minister of interior are the only ones who have fallen, but the rest of the entire regime remains." Ahmed Shafik, who served as Prime Minister under Mubarak, said "This means that nobody in Egypt is still above punishment or accountability."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.