Thursday, August 22, 2013
The twisted reality of Egypt's revolution: Mubarak to be free, Morsi in prison
An Egyptian court on Wednesday ordered the release of ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The North Cairo misdemeanor appeals court came to accept a petition for Mubarak’s release in a corruption case in which he stands accused of illegally receiving gifts worth millions of pounds on an annual basis from Al-Ahram state media institution. The case was the last remaining legal ground for his temporary detention, after courts ordered his release in three other cases, the state news agency MENA reported. The court gave the prosecution 48 hours to appeal the release order. But the general prosecutor’s office decided not to appeal, which means Mubarak could be set free today, Thursday.
Ppime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi, using the special powers he has under the emergency law, on Wednesday evening ordered Mubarak to be placed under house arrest. A travel ban is also still in force. In this way the government avoided the situation in which Mubarak is free to go wherever he wants, but it did not change the twisted picture of a revolution that sets Mubarak free after two and a half yeras, while his successor Morsi and his associates are in prison.
Mubarak will be retried on charges of ordering the killing of protesters during the 18-day popular uprising in 2011 that led to his removal. But since he has served the maximum amount of pre-trial detention permitted in this case, he can wait the retrial proceedings out of prison. Last year, he was sentenced to life in prison for failing to prevent the killing of more than 800 protesters, but later a court accepted his appeal for retrial. The next hearing in the case regarding the killing of protesters is set for August 25.
The course of events is illustrative for what the 25 January revolution has brought Egypt after all. Mada Masr quoted Yasser al-Hawary, spokesperson of the Free Egyptians Party, in this respect. He said that Mubarak should have been tried in a political case, and not on charges of illegally owning property and receiving gifts from Al-Ahram, which are insignificant in compasrion and legally complicated. “None of the governments that have been in place since Mubarak’s trial have done anything to implement transitional justice laws and measures,” he said. “In the killing of protesters case, all the evidence is in general intelligence and state security (which are both still manned by the same people as in Mubarak's time, TheP.) so it will not be submitted.”
Mada Masr also quoted the Coalition of National Revolutionary Forces, which said that Mubarak should have been tried on charges related to decades of political corruption.