Death penalty demanded for Mubarak
AFP photoThe prosecutor in the trial of Hosni Mubarak yesterday demanded the death penalty for the ousted Egyptian leader, saying the fallen Egyptian president had ordered the killings of anti-regime demonstrators and was “politically and legally” responsible for the killings.
In wrapping up the three-day case, chief prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman said “the president of the republic is responsible for protecting the people, and the question is not simply one of whether he ordered the killing of protesters, but to know why he did not intervene to stop the violence.”
An 18-day uprising forced Mubarak, 83, to step down after a nearly 30-year rule on Feb. 11, 2011. Mubarak’s two sons, one-time heir apparent Gamal and Alaa, face corruption charges in the same trial along with their father and a close family friend who is a fugitive.
“How could the president of the republic not be aware of the demonstrations that broke out on Jan. 25  in 12 places in several governorates?” Suleiman asked, rejecting claims that Mubarak was not informed of the seriousness of the situation. Mustafa Khater, one of a five-member prosecution team, also asked the judge for the death sentence for Mubarak’s security chief and six top police commanders being tried in the same case.
“Retribution is the solution. Any fair judge must issue a death sentence for these defendants,” said Khater, demanding the “maximum sentence,” or 15 years behind bars, for Alaa and Gamal.
On Jan. 3, Suleiman described Mubarak as a “tyrannical leader” who sought to hand power to his younger son Gamal, who spread corruption in the country and opened the door to his friends and relatives, ruining the country without any accountability. The trial began on Aug. 3, 2011, after months of protests to pressure the military rulers to place the former strongman on trial along with ex-regime officials.
Relatives of those who died in the protests said their hopes to see Mubarak sentenced have been dashed by a string of witnesses who mostly confirmed the defense’s case that the former president never gave orders to shoot protesters.
Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak’s former defense minister and now the country’s military ruler, testified behind closed doors. The court issued a gag order on his testimony, but lawyers said he did not incriminate Mubarak. Mubarak is in custody in a military hospital on Cairo’s outskirts, where he is being treated for a heart condition. His lawyer said he suffers from stomach cancer.
Compiled from AFP and AP stories by the Daily News staff.