Cairo: The retrial of Egypt’s ousted president Hosni Mubarak will be aired live on Egyptian television on Saturday following the approval of Judge Mahmoud Kamal Al Rashidi, who is presiding over the trial.
Mubarak, who received a life sentence last June for failing to protect peaceful protesters during the revolution, was granted a retrial in January due to procedural irregularities in the initial trial.
In April, Judge Mustafa Hassan Abdullah, who was presiding over the retrial, recused himself from the case and referred it to the Cairo Appeal Court.
Judge Abdullah had been widely criticised for acquitting security men accused of attacking protesters in the February 2, 2011 assault, in which supporters of Mubarak charged into a sit-in in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on camels and horses, setting off clashes that lasted into the next day and left nearly a dozen dead.
Many Egyptians were angered when the 84-year-old Mubarak, who had been seriously ill last year, appeared in good health, smiling and waving to the public in court last April, prompting calls for him to be put back in jail.
The convoluted legal process has highlighted the difficulty of transitional justice in a country where many of the judges and security chiefs were appointed during the Mubarak era.
Facing retrial along with Mubarak for their role in the murder of protesters during Egypt’s 18-day uprising in 2011 are former interior minister Habib Al Adly and six of his aides.
The same court will retry Mubarak’s two sons, Alaa and Jamal on separate charges of financial corruption at the same time.
— Ayman Sharaf is a journalist based in Cairo