Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Egypt government vows to appeal Mubarak trial verdicts

CAIRO — Egypt's military-led government said Sunday it would appeal the verdicts delivered by a court on Saturday against former President Hosni Mubarak, his sons and top security officials of his government.

The verdicts have intensified the polarization gripping Egypt two weeks before the runoff to decide the nation's first competitive presidential race.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo and other cities for a second night Sunday to vent their anger at the verdicts, which many considered too weak. Mohammed Morsi, the presidential candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, stood with the protesters and pledged to press new charges against Mubarak if he is elected.

His opponent, Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's last prime minister, lashed back Sunday in a sweeping attack on the Brotherhood, charging that the group was out for "revenge" against the former government, that it used to collaborate with the Mubarak government in secret deals, and that it now represented "chaos."

Judge Ahmed Rafaat found Mubarak and his former interior minister, Habib el-Adly, guilty of failing to stop police from killing protesters, and acquitted a half-dozen lower-level officials who had more direct responsibility. The judge also dismissed corruption charges against Mubarak and his sons on the ground that a statute of limitations had lapsed.

Under Egyptian law, the prosecutor must appeal the entire verdict.

For now, Mubarak, 84, woke up Sunday morning inside the Tora Prison for the first time. The state newspaper Al Ahram reported that after the verdict, Mubarak was shocked at his transfer from more comfortable accommodations at a military hospital to the prison.

As soon as he found out that he was at the Tora Prison, the newspaper said, Mubarak began complaining of health problems.

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