The Mubarak Trial that Wasn’t

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The June 2 verdict in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak only confirmed what many Egyptian activists feared all along: The trial, while proving that the former leader was not above the law, was never going to be about truth and accountability.

There wasn’t much rejoicing in Cairo, even though the former president was sentenced to life in prison.  The trial itself was a desultory affair, with the judge claiming that prosecutors failed to present significant evidence tying the former president to attacks by security forces and Egyptian police that led to around 840 deaths and thousands of injuries during the 2011 uprisings.

Rather than serve the nation's deep need for truth, the trial denied full justice to the thousands of Egyptian victims and family members.

Rather than serve the nation’s deep need for truth, the trial denied full justice to the thousands of Egyptian victims and family members.  The day after the verdict was announced, all of Cairo was talking about expectations that it would be overturned on appeal.

Amnesty welcomed the trial of Mubarak and others for their role in the killing of protesters which began in January 2011. However, the trial and verdict have left the families of those killed, as well as those injured in the protests, in the dark about the full truth of what happened to their loved ones and it failed to deliver full justice.

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Hosni Mubarak Faces the Judge; Egypt Faces a New Future

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Mubarak and other former senior officials face murder charges

Mubarak and other former senior officials face murder charges © AP GraphicsBank

The legal proceedings against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak opened without drama today.

But for the family members of those killed in the Jan. 25 uprising, the sight of the former president in a criminal court docket was deeply emotional.

Today’s proceedings were straightforward, with Mubarak entering a “not guilty” plea and lawyers from both sides presenting statements; the trial won’t reconvene until Aug. 15.

But during the session, there was Mubarak, lying in a special bed inside the cage for Egyptian criminal defendants.  While he was lying in the bed, many observers indicated his health looked pretty strong, belying pre-trial reports coming from his camp that he was near death.

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