What the Mubarak verdict reveals about Egypt
Anti-Mubarak protesters gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square after the former president was sentenced Saturday.
June 4th, 2012
11:06 AM ET

What the Mubarak verdict reveals about Egypt

Egyptian protesters have been venting their anger in Tahrir Square since former president Hosni Mubarak and former interior minister Habib El Adly were sentenced to life in prison Saturday.

Many Egyptians think Mubarak should have received the death penalty for his role in the deaths of demonstrators last year. They are also upset that six of his former aides were acquitted.

Samer Shehata, a professor of Egyptian and Arab politics at Georgetown University, talked to CNN about the reaction and what the verdicts might mean for the upcoming presidential runoff.

CNN: What does (this reaction) signal to you?

Shehata: Clearly, many millions of Egyptians are unhappy because they feel the sentencing was light, that this was not just. Remember, 846 people were killed during those 18 days. That was the figure produced by the official Egyptian committee that investigated the killings during the revolution. And 6,000 were injured.

(The protesters) feel that Mr. Mubarak, his minister of interior, and the six other high-ranking individuals were directly responsible for those deaths. … So they feel this was not justice and that the sentence should have been harsher.

CNN: Is it bittersweet that there was a court process that involved Hosni Mubarak, they wanted to see him brought to justice, but the outcome wasn't necessarily what a good majority of people were looking for?

Shehata: That's completely correct. Certainly no verdict, no ruling, would have satisfied all Egyptians. At the same time, people  were, as you know, intensely fixated on the court proceedings. The idea that Mr. Mubarak, who had ruled the country for 29.5 years as an authoritarian dictator, really was in a cage — put on trial, held accountable — was something that was mesmerizing.

At the same time, you know, this shows us that the Egyptian revolution has not been completely successful. We know, for example, that the prosecutors did not have full cooperation from the Ministry of Interior that could have supplied more hard evidence as to what actually happened during those 18 days — whether orders were given or not, what the minister of interior said to Mr. Mubarak, and so on. There was reluctance to cooperate with the prosecution to defend their own. So clearly this also shows that not enough change has happened in Egypt in the 16 months since the revolution.

CNN: It also looks a bit half-glass empty, half-glass full because you've had democratic elections taking place. Now there will be a runoff election, and that involves one of the candidates who represents the Muslim Brotherhood. Might (these protests) interfere in any way with the runoff elections?

Shehata: Well, there's been a great deal of speculation how one particular verdict or another would impact the elections. If Mr. Mubarak was acquitted, there's no question that would have angered millions of Egyptians and that they would have more likely then voted in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood anti-regime figure (Mohamed Morsi).

This verdict is a kind of, as you said, “glass half full, glass half empty” situation. So the regime candidate (Ahmed Shafik), Mr. Mubarak's last prime minister … can say: “Look, the revolution has succeeded. Mr. Mubarak is now in jail for the rest of his life, and let's move on, and elect me as president.”

As I mentioned, I think many Egyptians — those who favored change, who decried corruption and authoritarianism — are unsatisfied with  this verdict and are likely, I would think, to be skeptical at the very least about Ahmed Shafik.

More from GPS: Runoff dilemma in Egypt?

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Topics: Egypt

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Hahahahahahahaha

    Look at the picture above. THAT tells everything about Egypt. There's no women!!!! Quick someone send them some women!!!!!!!! They all have DSB (Deadly Semen Buildup) and they are going crazy!!!!!! Hahahahahahahaha

    June 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      The New York Times showed Mubarak as a well groomed defendant behind a pair of sunglasses. He looked like a Robert de Nero in a gangster film from the 1980's. The trial was a farce and the verdict a joke. The life-sentence has only symbolic value. How long can a 84 year old man spend behind bars? He will appeal and can have the ruling overturned. He might be exonerated or get a reduced sentence. That his sons were acquitted showed that the military (SCAF) still has its finger in every pie. Whoever gets elected, he will be riding a roller coaster and the revolving door to his office will soon start to spin.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
      • Hahahahahahahaha

        Nope.......It's DSB. Hahahahahahahaha

        June 5, 2012 at 10:25 am |
      • Old Man Clark

        The very thought of Hosni Mubarak getting exonorated nauseates me to no end! But as powerful as the C.I.A. is j.von hettlingen, I wouldn't be at all surprised if that happened. The U.S., Great Britain and France will stop at nothing in order to keep an iron hand grip on Egypt!

        June 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  2. Quigley

    Whatever the verdict reveals about Egypt, Hosni Mubarak got exactly what he deserved, life in prison. The reason the Western media doesn't revile him like it does Bashar al-Assad of Syria is because this bozo has always been a stooge for the necons in Washington D.C.!

    June 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  3. TruthMatters

    Anyone who thinks that Mubarak is going to be in jail for life is naive. The whole trial was a gimmick from the start. The people in charge are part of the same team as him and they know that there is no way to acquit him without another eruption of revolution. So they do the next best thing, give him a life sentence and tell everyone he's in jail, while he's probably taken out of Egypt and living his life freely, except he can't show his face in public. He keeps his billions and oppulence that he's lived with since stealing it from the nation. How will we know he's in jail? I say they ask for the UN to have unannounced inspections of the jail at least once every month to verify he's in there. AND to also have an egyptian civilian body made up of activists and lawyers in rotating membership to have unannoucned inspections of the jail every two weeks, and to allow ANY member of the Egyptian public at ANY time to visit the jail and see him while having no contact with thim. All these inspections and visits are to be live and not through a tv screen showing what they claim is a video of him in a cell. OR execute him in public. Same goes for his aides and sons who are guility of corruption, theft, consipiracy, or murder

    June 5, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
  4. soulcatcher

    I think it sends a signal to the Brotherhood: We'll be back if you don't behave.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
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    Burberry is an outstanding leader of global sumptuousness style stageburberry

    June 7, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Reply
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  7. ابو كريم للسيكوريت

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته ابو كريم للزوجاج السيكوريت والمريات 16 ش ابى الفداء العطارين الاسكندرية / جمهورية مصر العربية 01222684200 تركيب واجهات المحلات وكبائن الشور والاسقف المرسومة والمضيئة وبتارين العرض والارضيات الزوجاجية المرسومة والمضيئة و تركيب زوجاج امان لتكسية حماما ت السباحة ووجهات الشركات والحوائط الزوجاجية بكل الوانها وتقسيم الاماكن والمولات بلازوجاج السيكوريت وكل ديكور المريات وعمل كل مقسات احواض سمك الزينة العملاقة كما نقوم بصيانة الابواب الزوجاجية والمكن الارضى ولدينا كل انواع الاكسسوارات لزوم السيكوريت انته عليك تتخيل واحنا علينا ننشتغل...

    September 2, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply
  8. ابو كريم للسيكوريت

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته ابو كريم للزوجاج السيكوريت والمريات 16 ش ابى الفداء العطارين الاسكندرية / جمهورية مصر العربية 01222684200 تركيب واجهات المحلات وكبائن الشور والاسقف المرسومة والمضيئة وبتارين العرض والارضيات الزوجاجية المرسومة والمضيئة و تركيب زوجاج امان لتكسية حماما ت السباحة ووجهات الشركات والحوائط الزوجاجية بكل الوانها وتقسيم الاماكن والمولات بلازوجاج السيكوريت وكل ديكور المريات وعمل كل مقسات احواض سمك الزينة العملاقة كما نقوم بصيانة الابواب الزوجاجية والمكن الارضى ولدينا كل انواع الاكسسوارات لزوم السيكوريت انته عليك تتخيل واحنا علينا ننشتغل.....

    September 2, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply

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