Mubarak Trial: Bed-Bound for Retribution

Published August 3rd, 2011 - 13:11 GMT

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Egyptian former president Hosni Mubarak lies on a stretcher as he listens to the opening proceedings in a holding cell in the court room in the police academy. Comments emerging by the news-hungry public and media highlighted his dyed black hair- in spite of his invalid and ailing condition.
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Image 1 of 12: Egyptian former president Hosni Mubarak lies on a stretcher as he listens to the opening proceedings in a holding cell in the court room in the police academy. Comments emerging by the news-hungry public and media highlighted his dyed black hair- in spite of his invalid and ailing condition.

Gamal Mubarak is seen in a holding cell on the first day of his trial along with his brother and father, ousted Egyptian president Mubarak and other government officials. Father-on-trial said to be fidgety & squirming, even playing with his nose; some have irreverently cited him as 'picking' it.
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Image 1 of 12: Gamal Mubarak is seen in a holding cell on the first day of his trial along with his brother and father, ousted Egyptian president Mubarak and other government officials. Father-on-trial said to be fidgety & squirming, even playing with his nose; some have irreverently cited him as 'picking' it.

Egyptian former president Hosni Mubarak 'lying' hemmed into his 'cage' in a holding cell in the court room at the Cairo Criminal Court where he faces murder charges, is the first Arab ruler to appear in court in person in a historic moment for a region whose leaders are rarely held to account.
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Image 1 of 12: Egyptian former president Hosni Mubarak 'lying' hemmed into his 'cage' in a holding cell in the court room at the Cairo Criminal Court where he faces murder charges, is the first Arab ruler to appear in court in person in a historic moment for a region whose leaders are rarely held to account.

Egyptian former interior minister Habib al-Adly sits in a holding cell in the Cairo Criminal Court on the outskirt of the capital.
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Image 1 of 12: Egyptian former interior minister Habib al-Adly sits in a holding cell in the Cairo Criminal Court on the outskirt of the capital.

Egyptian former interior minister Habib al-Adly (R) stands along side Alaa (2nd R) and Gamal (L) Mubarak in a cage-like holding cell in the court room in the police academy.
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Image 1 of 12: Egyptian former interior minister Habib al-Adly (R) stands along side Alaa (2nd R) and Gamal (L) Mubarak in a cage-like holding cell in the court room in the police academy.

Alaa (C) and Gamal (L) Mubarak are seen in their 'family cage'. Bystanders observed Alaa to be clutching on to a Koran for much of the proceedings.
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Image 1 of 12: Alaa (C) and Gamal (L) Mubarak are seen in their 'family cage'. Bystanders observed Alaa to be clutching on to a Koran for much of the proceedings.

Ahmed Refaat, presiding judge over the court hearing of government officials, including the former Egyptian president and his two sons, opens the first day court session. This judge needs to have presence and to hold court with some authority given the chaos of so many voices vying for attention.
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Image 1 of 12: Ahmed Refaat, presiding judge over the court hearing of government officials, including the former Egyptian president and his two sons, opens the first day court session. This judge needs to have presence and to hold court with some authority given the chaos of so many voices vying for attention.

An Egyptian policeman takes cover during clashes between supporters of the former Egyptian president and foes outside the police academy where the ex-president and his two sons are being tried.
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Image 1 of 12: An Egyptian policeman takes cover during clashes between supporters of the former Egyptian president and foes outside the police academy where the ex-president and his two sons are being tried.

An Egyptian supporter of the former Egyptian president throws a chair as clashes erupted between loyalists and foes of Egypt's former president who is being tried on murder charges.
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Image 1 of 12: An Egyptian supporter of the former Egyptian president throws a chair as clashes erupted between loyalists and foes of Egypt's former president who is being tried on murder charges.

Egyptian supporters of former president Hosni Mubarak (banner) throws a stone as clashes erupted between loyalists and foes of Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak .
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Image 1 of 12: Egyptian supporters of former president Hosni Mubarak (banner) throws a stone as clashes erupted between loyalists and foes of Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak .

Egyptian supporters of former president Hosni Mubarak hold up his poster as they stand in front of the police on the opening day of his trial.
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Image 1 of 12: Egyptian supporters of former president Hosni Mubarak hold up his poster as they stand in front of the police on the opening day of his trial.

A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak holds his picture outside the police academy where Mubarak's trial is held on the outskirt of Cairo.
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Image 1 of 12: A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak holds his picture outside the police academy where Mubarak's trial is held on the outskirt of Cairo.

The Revolutionary Reckoning

Egypt’s fallen leader, 83 year-old Hosni Mubarak, can only fall further as of today, since his long-awaited court trial has finally come to pass. Not only is this moment of an Arab leader being held to account for his crimes against his population both pre and during the Revolution sending out a stark message to other wobbly Arab leaders, but it is also the moment of truth for Egyptian activists  who can feel the fruits of their labored Tahrir Revolution.

This is a momentous occasion in the Arab Revolution as we have an 'Arab Dictator' on trial by the people - not even by a military hearing. Saddam Hussein’s trial that saw him death-sentenced occurred under the framework of 'occupation', making this case truly precedent.

The ousting and aspired follow-through in the trial of Mubarak has been the raison d'etre for the whole Arab Awakening and now arguably- depending on the outcome- we could say that the Arabs have awoken.  If convicted, he faces the death penalty. But since this is not guaranteed or even 'that' likely, these empowered people are forced to brace themselves for the worst-case scenario; - that he is let off by the trial, or assassinated by an impatient Egyptian.

Mubarak represents the focal point in the Arab Spring (now- turned Sizzling Summer) of thief-leader-of-his-people to come to trial-- given that Tunisian Ben Ali did a runner; and Ali Abdullah Saleh is still at large (though rumoured to have lost his hands, so could be said to have received his (Islamic) come-uppance already for stealing from the hands of the people); Gaddafi is possibly still going to have the opportunity to negotiate his way into a civilised departure or prolonged stay; and Syria's 'Lion' still has his teeth sunk into his people prey, and, far from letting-up or being judged by law, is killing his way in and beyond Hama. 

As for the eager or hungry-viewing public, many Egyptians are pleased just to see Mubarak in court, hemmed into the 'cage,' or the holding cell where defendants in Egyptian criminal trials appear.

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