Sunday, February 18, 2018

Egypt panel implicates Mubarak, military in deaths

CAIRO — An Egyptian fact-finding mission determined that Hosni Mubarak watched the uprising against him unfold through a live TV feed at his palace, despite his later denial that he knew the extent of the protests and brutal crackdown against them, a member of the mission said Wednesday.

Mubarak authorized the use of any means to stop the protests, his interior minister, Habib el-Adly, told the commission's investigators.

The mission's findings increase pressure for a retrial of the 84-year-old ousted president, who is already serving a life sentence for the deaths of 900 protesters. But its report could hold both political gains and dangers for his successor, Mohammed Morsi.

A new prosecution of Mubarak would be popular, since many Egyptians were angry that he was convicted only of failing to stop the killing of protesters, rather than of ordering the crackdown.

But the report also implicates the military and security officials in protester deaths. Any move to prosecute them could spark a backlash from powerful generals and others who still hold positions under Morsi's government.

Rights activists said they would watch how aggressively Morsi pursues the evidence, detailed by a fact-finding mission he commissioned.

"This report should be part of the democratic transformation of Egypt and restructuring of security agencies," said Ahmed Ragheb, a member of the commission and a rights lawyer. "There will be no national reconciliation without revealing the truth, and ensuring accountability."

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