Decades-old Egyptian emergency ends: army
Egyptian soldiers attend Friday prayers in Cairo in this May 4 photo. REUTERS photoEgypt’s decades-long state of emergency came to an end yesterday after its last renewal expired, the ruling military said in a statement, vowing to continue to “protect” the nation.
The military will continue its “national and historic responsibility, taking into account that the state of emergency has ended, in accordance with the constitutional declaration and with the law,” it said. It said it would continue in that role until it hands over power, as it has promised to do to an elected president by the end of June.
Egypt has been under a state of emergency continuously since President Anwar Sadat’s assassination in 1981, allowing authorities to detain people without charge and try them in emergency security courts. Parliament renewed the emergency law for two years in May 2010 when now ousted president Hosni Mubarak was still in power, but limited its application to terrorism and drug crimes.
Meanwhile, Hosni Mubarak’s two sons have been accused of insider trading in a new case opened just days before they and their father are to hear the verdict in a separate trial on charges of corruption and complicity in killing protesters during last year’s uprising. A statement by the prosecutor-general’s office on the new charges said the Mubarak sons, along with seven others, made $300 million in illicit gains. Their actions violated central bank and stock market regulations, it said. The nine are accused of conspiring to stealthily buy a controlling 80 percent stake in Al Watany Bank of Egypt without declaring their share to the stock market authority, it added. They later traded its shares through closed funds and investment companies based abroad.