Egypt awaits verdict in Hosni Mubarak trial
Egypt is today eagerly awaiting the verdict in the trial of Hosni Mubarak – the first leader to be charged over his role in the Arab Spring. But, as Nick Meo reports, the trial has not been universally welcomed.
The young Egyptians who risked their lives in Tahrir Square and saw their friends shot down around them could hardly believe it was true when Hosni Mubarak, the former president they had toppled from power, was put on trial last August.
For the first time an Arab dictator was suffering the humiliation of being tried in person by his own people, in a powerful warning to other rulers struggling to hold back protests inspired by the Arab Spring.
The charges were serious enough to send him to the gallows if found guilty: complicity to murder during six terrifying days of bloodshed in January 2011 when his security forces shot, beat and tortured 846 protesters to death. He was also accused of corruption.
Relatives of his victims gathered outside the makeshift courthouse – the former Mubarak Police Academy building, an hour’s drive north of Cairo city centre – to taunt him with home-made nooses, as 5,000 security force personnel were put on standby.
At first his humiliation appeared complete.