Mubarak sentenced to life in prison02/06/2012 - 09:38:18
Egypt’s ex-President Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison after a court convicted him on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during last year’s uprising that forced him from power.
Mubarak is the first Arab leader to be tried by his own people in the country.
The sentence was handed down today in a Cairo court.
Thousands of riot police cordoned off the building to prevent protesters and relatives of those killed during the uprising from getting too close.
Hundreds stood outside, waving Egyptian flags and chanting slogans demanding “retribution.” Some spread Mubarak’s picture on the asphalt and walked over it.
The trial has mesmerised the nation, with images of Mubarak lying on a hospital gurney inside a defendants’ cage of iron bars and barbed wire taken by most Egyptians to symbolise both their triumph over tyranny and the humiliation of a dictator who ruled for close to 30 years.
But the joy that followed Mubarak’s removal on February 11, 2011, has turned to disappointment after more than a year of turmoil, with protesters challenging the military rulers who took the reins of the country, a rise in crime and an economic decline.
The verdict also comes as political tensions are high ahead of a heated runoff for president that pits Mubarak’s last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq against the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohammed Morsi.
Ali el-Genadi, whose son was killed while protesting, said he expected Mubarak to be acquitted by what he called a “politicised” judiciary.
“There is no justice in Egypt as long as it is being ruled by the same regime,” he said. “Nothing has changed.”
Mubarak's two sons - Gamal and Alaa - were acquitted on corruption charges.
Scuffles broke out in the Cairo courtroom after the verdicts were announced.
Egyptian security officials say Mubarak resisted leaving the helicopter that flew him to a prison hospital after the sentencing.
The officials say Mubarak, 84, was tearful as he pleaded with officials to take him back to the military hospital where he has stayed since his trial began August 3.
It took his escorts 30 minutes to persuade him to leave the aircraft and enter Torah prison's hospital.
It is the first time Mubarak will be held in a prison hospital since he was detained.
Egypt's state medialater said that Mubarak suffered a "health crisis" while on his way to the prison hospital.
State television and the official news agency report Mubarak suffered the crisis while aboard the helicopter that ferried him to Torah prison hospital.
Nile News, a state-owned news channel, said Mubarak suffered a heart attack. But that could not be immediately confirmed.
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