Hosni Mubarak Pleads Not Guilty on Charges of Corruption and Conspiracy to Kill Protesters

In a makeshift court in Cairo this week, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak pleaded not guilty yesterday on corruption charges related to a land deal (his sons also face charges in the case) and oil and gas prices, and on charges of conspiring with former Egyptian interior minister Habib el-Adly to commit murder and attempted murder of more than 850 protesters during Egypt’s 18-day revolution in February of this year. [Washington Post]  The prosecutor has asserted that Mubarak is responsible for the death and injury of protesters based on his alleged incitement of security forces to shoot and run over protesters and on his approval of – and failure to stop – security forces’ continued attacks against protesters. [Washington Post]  Mubarak’s statement denying the charges has reportedly become a popular cell phone ring tone in the country. [Haaretz]  The charges carry a possible sentence of death. [Haaretz]

Mubarak’s prosecution had been promised by the military council, Egypt’s current leadership, since Mubarak’s ouster in mid February. [Guardian; Washington Post]  Human rights organizations called for the trial to be conducted in a fair and transparent manner. [Guardian]  Mubarak’s court appearances have led to some demonstrations and skirmishes between police, protesters and Mubarak supporters. [Guardian]

Mubarak is reportedly ill and has been hospitalized for the past few months, leading to questions regarding his fitness to stand trial. [Washington Post] The country’s health minister recently certified that the former president is sufficiently healthy to continue proceedings. [Washington Post]

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