Legal experts weigh in on the retrial of ousted president Hosni Mubrak’s retrial, which has garnered widespread attention and sparked vastly differing nationwide reactions, and left many confused.
Cassation Court lawyer Mohamed Zare’ said there is a possibility that the case will go, once more, to court. Shortly after the verdict, prosecution appealed the verdict. Zare’ said the Court of Cassation can accept the appeal and rule on the case.
Mubarak faced charges of participating, through agreement, in the killing of protesters during the 25 January Revolution. These charges were deemed inadmissible by court, with the judge citing an “implied decision” by prosecutors that there is no basis to put Mubarak’s name on the list of people facing murder charges.
Lawyer Malek Adly said the “regime is using its own laws to exonerate itself”.
In 2011, prosecutors investigated Mubarak, former interior minister under Mubarak Habib Al-Adly and his aides. They charged Al-Adly and his aides with premeditated murder on 23 March 2011, but did not however, include the former president in the accused, until two months later.
Judge Mahmoud Rashidy described the prosecution’s decision in March not to include Mubarak in the 280 page reasoning behind the verdict. He added there was “an implied decision that there is no basis to file the criminal charge against him, which prevents prosecution from going back to accuse him.”
Zare’ said “this is the first time we have heard this” as lawyers and as citizens.
He said an implied decision is one that is not written and so has to be concluded, which contradicts the development of events. Zare’ said it was prosecution that levelled the accusation against Mubarak and continued to argue against him in court.
Mubarak and business tycoon Hussein Salem were acquitted of graft charges relating to the sale of natural gas to Israel.
Mubarak also faced charges of corruption, along with his sons Alaa and Gamal, and Salem.
The corruption charges were dropped, with the judge citing that these are subject to statute of limitations – in simpler terms means, this means there is set time in which prosecution may make a case. For misdemeanours, it is three years and for felonies, it is five years.
Adly described this as ridiculous, asking, who could have investigated Mubarak during his reign.
Adly said when regimes are brought down they are tried for everything, whether it is old or new and that means that trials can take place decades after the crime was committed.
He added that the effects of the financial corruption caused by Mubarak can be seen today and so this “crime is continuous”.
The former interior minister Al-Adly, four of his aides, and Salem were acquitted on all charges.