The now-imprisoned Egyptian president could be on his way to being cleared of charges.
The verdicts in the trial of the Mubaraks, former Interior Minister Habeeb al Adly, and eleven senior Ministry of Interior officials came in on Saturday morning and like clockwork protesters are out in Tahrir Square again. It's no surprise why. The Ministry of Interior officials were acquitted as were Mubarak's sons, Gamal and Alaa. The former president and al Adly were each given life sentences, but I'm told the acquittals of the others lay the legal groundwork for Mubarak and al Adly to be cleared on appeal. Justice was not served.
Yet justice was probably too much to expect under Egypt's present circumstances. Egypt has not had a revolution. The political system has not been overthrown and replaced; only the head of state has been deposed along with a select number of courtiers. As a result, Mubarak was tried under the rigged and unstable legal system that served the interests of the leaders and defenders--i.e., Mubarak and his associates--of the regime that came into being into the 1950s. Despite dramatically condemning Mubarak at the sentencing, the presiding judge, Ahmed Refaat, was known to be sympathetic to the former president to whom he owed his position and stature. It was thus not hard to imagine that punishments handed down to Mubarak and his fellow defendants would be something considerably less than what many Egyptians wanted or expected.