On Monday (April 15th), a judge ordered that Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak be released from prison on bail after spending the maximum legal time of two years in detention pending trial. Under Egyptian law, Mubarak can still be held for a short additional amount of time while charges and proceedings are pending. Mubarak’s imprisonment and legal problems come following his involvement with Habib al-Adli in the killing of protesters in the uprisings that occurred in 2011. However, it is stated that he will not be released from custody based on additional newly discovered corruption charges that were added to older allegations. (http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/15/world/meast/egypt-mubarak-petition/index.html ). Mubarak ruled Egypt for nearly 30 year and has been faced with constant backlash and corruption following the uprisings that occurred in the country. Not only has Mubarak faced charges involving political corruption and involvement in killing of protestors, he has also being investigated on the grounds of financial corruption and conspiracy. (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/04/2013415134713761409.html)
The additional charges and newly discovered evidence comes following leaked information that was provided to the media and current President. Previous to this point, the police in Egypt were claimed to be the sole entity responsible for the deaths in the uprisings; however, it has now been shown that the government and army of Egypt were at blame of killing, torturing, and violating individual’s human rights. In addition, it was found that under President Mubarak, the military was seizing citizens at checkpoints and it is speculated that the army would deliver unidentified bodies to the coroner’s office, in which these individuals were the same individuals seized at the checkpoint because they were never seen again after making it to the checkpoint (http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/15/world/meast/egypt-mubarak-petition/index.html ).
In looking at the case against Mubarak and Adli, the first case against the two resulted in the sentencing of a life term decision. However, upon appealing the case to the highest court, the court found that after hearing from both the prosecutor and defense as well as concluding the presence of procedural errors, there was enough evidence to a retrial (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22149867).
This is the area of the case where things get a little strange and begin to question whether corruption or improper practices are occurring in the Egyptian court system. Upon starting the retrial, Judge Mustafa Hassan Abdullah who was assigned to the case reportedly stepped down off the case. Sources say that the judge cited medical problems relating to his eyes as the main reason for stepping down and also claimed feeling pressure in being the magistrate in the case. When looking at this, my first question is how much the medical problem really played in the judge’s decision. I feel that this judge stepped down for either one of two main reasons, not having anything to do with the medical problem. First, I feel that the pressure of being the magistrate in such a high profile case in which he as the judge would have to rule on a matter involving a former powerful and Presidential figure, caused him to fear having to make a ruling in favor of placing him in prison. The other possible reason comes with the question on whether he was paid or coerced (corruption) into stepping down by Mubarak or someone close to Mubarak. With the background of President Mubarak having numerous avenues of power and numerous activities involving corruption, conspiracy, and cover-up, this would not surprise me at all if this influenced his stepping down. It was stated by the CNN in their article on the case that Mubarak’s two year detention only ran out based on legal technicalities, so this makes me begin to wonder if more legal technicalities or acts of corruption will occur to prevent Mubarak from being tried all together(http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/15/world/meast/egypt-mubarak-petition/index.html ).
The following are a few cartoons created involving Mubarak: