06/02/2012, 00.00
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Life imprisonment for former Egyptian President Mubarak, sons Gamal and Ala acquitted

The court also sentenced interior minister, Habib al-Adly, to life imprisonment. The Court held that they are responsible for the deaths of 850 people killed by police during the protests in Tahrir Square in 2011. Brawl breaks out in court-room bunker after allegations of bribery for Mubarak sons is quashed.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - An Egyptian court sentenced former President Mubarak and Habib al-Adly, the Interior Minister to life imprisonment, for having ordered security forces to shoot at demonstrators during the Tahrir protests of 2011. Both are responsible for the deaths of 850 people. The court acquitted the six assistants of the Ministry of Interior. The former Rais was presented in court lying on a stretcher and in serious health conditions. After the session, he was escorted by helicopter to a prison in Cairo, where he will probably serve his sentence.

After disclosure of the judgment uproar broke out outside and inside the courtroom, set up  in a bunker from which the trial was broadcast live. But the cheers turned into a brawl when the Court of Appeals in Cairo decided to quash corruption charges against Mubarak's sons Gamal and Alaa. The charges date back to over ten years ago and are outside the Court's statute of limitations. The two sons risked up to three years in prison. For the prosecutors, the trial was artfully manipulated by the judges still loyal to the regime and they have announced an appeal.

Mubarak is the first Arab leader to be tried by his own people, after the social unrest that shook the countries of North Africa and Middle East between 2010 and 2011. He resigned after 14 days of protests attended by more than 1 million people in Tahrir Square and hundreds of thousands in major cities of Egypt.

The judgment against the former president arrives a few weeks from the first ballot of the presidential elections after more than 30 years of autocratic rule. The two candidates will be running for President on June 15 and 16 are Shafiq Ahmed, former Prime Minister and supported by the army and the former regime, and Mohammed Mursi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and Mubarak's historic enemy


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