In one of the least surprising announcements from Egypt:
An Egyptian court on Saturday dismissed murder charges against former President Hosni Mubarak in connection with the killing of hundreds of protesters in the 2011 uprising that ended his nearly three-decade rule, citing the ‘‘inadmissibility’’ of the case due to a technicality.
The ruling marks another major setback for the young activists who spearheaded the Arab Spring-inspired uprising nearly four years ago — many of whom are now in jail or have withdrawn from politics. It will likely reinforce the perception that Mubarak’s autocratic state remains in place, albeit led by a new president, former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Saturday’s verdict concludes Mubarak’s retrial along with his two sons, his security chief and six top security commanders, who were all acquitted. Also acquitted was wealthy businessman Hussein Salem, a longtime Mubarak friend tried in absentia.
Nearly 170 police officers and security officials put on trial in connection to the killings since 2011 have either been acquitted for lack of evidence or because they were found to have acted in self-defense. Some received short, suspended sentences.
Egypt is back in the hands of a military dictatorship. Here’s the other side:
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi suggested on Thursday he was considering pardoning journalists of the Qatar-based Al Jazeera television station jailed in his country for nearly a year on charges of aiding a “terrorist organisation”.
Human rights groups and Western governments have condemned the trial of the journalists and the United Nations questioned Egypt’s judicial independence. The affair has contributed to tensions between Egypt and Qatar.
The three Al Jazeera journalists were sentenced in June to between seven and 10 years in jail on charges including spreading lies to help a “terrorist organisation”, an allusion to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.
“Let us say that this matter is being discussed to solve the issue,” Sisi said in an interview with France 24 when asked if he could pardon the journalists.
So, Mubarak could well be out of jail while these journalists who were doing their job might be in jail for several more years unless al-Sisi decides otherwise. Yup, justice has left the country.