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Entries in Hosni Mubarak (58)

Monday
Jan142013

Egyptian Court Overturns Hosni Mubarak's Conviction

AFP/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is getting a second chance, which will likely not sit well with millions of his countrymen.

On Sunday, an appeal courts overturned the deposed leader's life sentence for what prosecutors argued was his direct hand in the killing of about 850 protesters during the 2011 Arab Spring demonstrations.

The decision of the court had been anticipated and the ailing Mubarak, 84, will get another trial.  However, he will remain in custody until then.

When the initial verdict was handed down last year, the judge admitted that the evidence against Mubarak was flimsy but approved his conviction based on the principle of presidential responsibility.

Supporters of Mubarak welcomed the decision but those opposed to his three-decade authoritarian reign are not pleased with the appeals ruling that probably had to do with procedural problems found with the conviction.

The timing of the decision is also sensitive because Egypt will be holding its parliamentary elections in April.  It is possible that backlash from the ruling could further strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood, the party of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun192012

Egypt's Former President Hosni Mubarak Suffers Stroke: Reports

AFP/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was rushed to a military hospital after suffering a stroke today, stoking public confusion over his condition. State media reported that Mubarak was clinically dead, but his lawyer denied this.

A spokeman for the Interior Ministry said the 84-year-old Mubarak was moved from the hospital in Torah Prison to nearby Maadi Hospital in southern Cairo. There have been conflicting unconfirmed reports about Mubarak's worsening condition, including that his heart stopped briefly and that he had suffered a stroke.

Mubarak’s health has deteriorated since he was removed from office last year. Mubarak received a life sentence on June 2 after hundreds of people were killed by government troops during the revolution known as the "Arab spring."

Mubarak’s latest health scare comes on the same day that protesters returned to Tahrir Square, the site of last year's demonstrations, to protest against the military council and for the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohammed Morsi.

"Revolution is back to the square," one group chanted.

"The law of the revolution, not the law of the military," chanted another.

The campaign of Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq claimed Tuesday that he, not Morsi, won this weekend's presidential election. That declaration of victory came just hours after the Muslim Brotherhood declared that Morsi had defeated Shafiq by almost one million votes.

Numerous independent media outlets have confirmed Morsi's victory. Both sides have accused each other of voting violations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun112012

Hosni Mubarak's Condition Appears to Be Worsening

AFP/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- The family of Hosni Mubarak is fighting back against rumors that the former Egyptian president is close to death despite news that Mubarak has been slipping in and out of consciousness after being sentenced to life in prison two weekends ago.

Mubarak's wife and two daughters went to visit him Sunday at the prison hospital where he is being treated for an irregular heartbeat.

The actual condition of Mubarak, who was removed from power following a public uprising in February 2011, is unknown, given the tight blanket of security around him.

Mubarak hasn't been well since leaving office and apparently took a turn for the worse after receiving a life sentence on June 2 for his role in the hundreds of people killed by government troops during the three-week revolution known as the "Arab spring."

Many in Egypt felt Mubarak should be executed for his crimes.

The pleas of the former leader's family to have him transferred to another hospital for treatment have been refused.

Meanwhile, Mubarak’s two sons, Alaa and Gamal, face charges of insider trading after they were acquitted of corruption charges.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun042012

After Mubarak Verdict, Egyptian Candidates Play to Fears

MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/GettyImages(CAIRO) -- With tens of thousands of Egyptians pouring into the streets across the country to protest what they see as a lenient sentence of life imprisonment for former President Hosni Mubarak, the two remaining candidates in the presidential race are trying to secure votes by playing to fears among the electorate.

In a press conference on Sunday, Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, said the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohammed Morsi would take Egypt back to “dark ages.”

“I represent a civil state. The Brotherhood represents a sectarian Brotherhood state,” Shafiq said. “I represent moving forward. They represent going backwards.”

He also spoke to fears that the Islamist Brotherhood would make life more restrictive for Egyptian women.

“Women of Egypt, I will not permit that the powers of extremism take you back to the dark ages.”

Shafiq has tried to shake the label that he is part of the “felool,” a derogatory term for remnants of the Mubarak regime.

His late surge in the polls and victory in the first round of voting reflected a growing fear among Egyptians about the increasing lawlessness, as well as fears among the minority Coptic Christians about their place in a country whose presidency and parliament would be controlled by the Brotherhood. But the fear that he would simply be a continuation of Mubarak was highlighted last week when protesters set fire to his Cairo campaign headquarters.

“The only way to save the revolution is to support the Brotherhood’s revolutionary candidate Mohamed Mursi in the presidential election runoff,” the Brotherhood’s Secretary General Mohamed Hussein said Monday, according to As-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

“We are talking about a danger that is coming at us with all its power, so we have to unite to topple the old regime’s candidate and then try and reach agreements afterwards,” he said.

On Saturday, Mubarak and his former interior minister were given life sentences for failing to stop the deaths of 850 protesters in last year’s revolution. Six other security officials were acquitted on the complicity charges while Mubarak’s sons and a business associate were acquitted of corruption charges.

The response to the verdicts was immediate, with Egyptians piling into Tahrir Square, the epicenter of last year’s revolution. Morsi appeared on Tahrir on Saturday night and has vowed to re-try Mubarak if elected. Also looking to ease fears among moderate voters, he met with former candidates Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh and Hamdeen Sabbahi on Sunday who garnered many of the votes among moderates.

“There is a strong desire to complete the revolution and achieve its objectives,” said Sabbahi, according to Al Masry Al Youm newspaper. “You can see that in all of Egypt’s squares.”

Mubarak was flown to Egypt’s notorious Tora prison following the verdict. En route, he reportedly suffered a “health crisis” and according to several reports, he refused to get off the helicopter for several hours after it landed. He eventually relented and was given a blue prison jumpsuit, a prison number and had his mugshot taken. The prison authorities also declined to allow his declining health to be supervised by his personal doctors. Mubarak’s wife, Suzanne, was expected to visit him today.

The public prosecutor has already announced that he will appeal the verdicts. Morsi and Shafiq are set to face off against each other on June 16-17, with the new president being named officially on June 21.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jun032012

Egyptians March in Outrage Over Former Ruler Mubarak's Life Sentence

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/GettyImages(CAIRO) -- Thousands gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square today, and at almost 3 a.m. were still chanting that the revolution is back and the military government needs to go, creating speculation that the Arab Spring has returned.

The crowds gathered today after a court sentenced Hosni Mubarak, the embattled and ailing former ruler who led Egypt with an iron first for 30 years, to life in prison for his role in the killing of more than 800 protesters who were demanding he step down. The charges carried a possible death sentence, but the judge chose life imprisonment instead.

There were celebrations in the streets when the verdict was announced, but it was short-lived, as protesters learned of the mixed verdict: While Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison, he and his two sons were acquitted of corruption charges.

Other senior government officials were acquitted, leaving no one found guilty of ordering the deaths of protesters last year.

"The people want the execution of the murderer," the crowd chanted.

Initial euphoria gave way to anger. Protesters, flying Egyptian flags and setting off fireworks, chanted "baatel," which means void, in reference to today's verdict.

Some on the streets carried banners that read "God's verdict is execution," while others in the city of Alexandra chanted "We are done with talk; we want an execution." Still others spread posters of Mubarak on the ground and walked over them.

Thousands of riot police in helmets and shields were needed to contain the restive, anti-Mubarak crowd outside the court. So far, the demonstrations have been relatively non-violent, although there have been several unconfirmed reports of sexual harassment on Twitter.

Mubarak, once a key U.S. ally and one of the longest standing Arab leaders in modern history, sat stone faced in court as Judge Ahmed Rifat read his verdict.

It began with words that just two years ago, would have been unthinkable.

"The people released a collective sigh of relief after a nightmare that did not, as is customary, last for a night, but for almost 30 black, black, black years -- darkness that resembled a winter night," he said.

"The revolution by the people of Egypt was inspired by God. They did not seek a luxurious life or to sit atop the world, but asked their politicians, rulers and those in authority to give them a decent life and a bite to eat," he said.

"They peacefully demanded democracy from rulers who held a tight grip on power."

Following the verdict, Mubarak suffered a "health crisis" on a helicopter en route to Cairo prison hospital, where he is expected to serve out his sentence. State media reported it as a heart attack, but it could not be independently confirmed.

Officials say that upon arrival, Mubarak refused to leave the helicopter for a full two hours, insisting instead that he be taken to a military hospital on the outskirts of Cairo, where he has stayed since his trial began in August.

Before that, Mubarak had been staying in a hospital in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el Sheikh, where he reportedly had privileged access to health facilities, a swimming pool, and received visits from other Gulf rulers.

Inside the courtroom, a scuffle broke out as soon as the verdict was read. Although Mubarak was convicted for his role in suppressing the uprising, he and his sons, Gamal and Alaa, along with a family friend, were acquitted of corruption charges. Because of other, pre-existing charges against Gamal and Alaa that have yet to be heard in court, the two brothers will remain behind bars.

A number of revolutionary groups, including the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, which was outlawed during Mubarak's regime, called for massive protests at Tahrir Square, the symbolic home of the uprising. Many were upset that Mubarak wasn't found guilty on all charges. They said the verdict was an indication that the old Mubarak regime is still influencing the judiciary.

"Justice was not served," said Ramadan Ahmed, whose son was killed on Jan. 28, 2011. "This is a sham."

Human Rights Watch called the verdict a landmark, but criticized the prosecution for failing to fully investigate the case.

"It sends a powerful message to Egypt's future leaders that they are not above the law," HRW spokesman Joe Stork said. "These convictions set an important precedent since just over a year ago, seeing Mubarak as a defendant in a criminal court would have been unthinkable."

The verdict comes at a crucial time, with the country set for a run-off tiebreaker in its president elections. The showdown is a contest between Ahmed Shafiq, a former protégé of Mubarak's, and Mohammed Morsi, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

On his Facebook page, Shafiq declined to comment on the court ruling, but said it shows no one is above the law in Egypt, and that the old regime would never come back.

In contrast, a spokesman for Morsi called the verdicts "shocking" and vowed retribution.

"I am part of this people who lived for decades under oppression. The blood from the martyrs' wounds is still running. I was, and still am, and will remain a revolutionary until the revolution's aims are realized," said Morsi in a press conference, according to the Egypt Independent.

Morsi and Shafiq will go on a head-to-head presidential runoff on June 16-17.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun022012

Former Egyptian Ruler Mubarak Sentenced to Life in Prison

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It's the day the pharaoh fell.

A court sentenced Hosni Mubarak, the embattled and ailing former ruler who led Egypt with an iron first for 30 years, to life in prison for his role in the killing of hundreds of protesters who were demanding he step down.

Mubarak, once a key U.S. ally and one of the longest standing Arab leaders in modern history, sat stone faced as Judge Ahmed Rifat read his verdict in court

It began with words that just two years ago, were unthinkable.

"The people released a collective sigh of relief after a nightmare that did not, as is customary, last for a night, but for almost 30 black, black, black years -- darkness that resembled a winter night," he said.

"The revolution by the people of Egypt was inspired by God. They did not seek a luxurious life or to sit atop the world, but asked their politicians, rulers and those in authority to give them a decent life and a bite to eat," he said.

"They peacefully demanded democracy from rulers who held a tight grip on power."

Following the verdict, Mubarak suffered a "health crisis" on a helicopter en route to Cairo prison hospital, where he is expected to serve out his sentence. State media reported it as a heart attack, but it could not be independently confirmed.

Officials say that upon arrival, Mubarak refused to leave the helicopter for a full two hours, insisting instead that he be taken to a military hospital on the outskirts of Cairo, where he has stayed since his trial began in August.

Before that, Mubarak had been staying in a hospital in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el Sheikh, where he reportedly had privileged access to health facilities, a swimming pool, and received visits from other Gulf rulers.

Inside the courtroom, a scuffle broke out as soon as the verdict was read. Although Mubarak was convicted for his role in suppressing the uprising, he and his sons, Gamal and Alaa, along with a family friend, were acquitted of corruption charges, provoking a new wave of anger and protests across the country. Because of other, pre-existing charges against Gamal and Alaa that have yet to be heard in court, the two brothers will continue to remain behind bars.

A number of revolutionary groups, including the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, which was outlawed during Mubarak's regime, have called for massive protests at Tahrir Square, the symbolic home of the uprising. Many are upset that Mubarak wasn't found guilty on all charges. They say the verdict is an indication that the old Mubarak regime is still influencing the judiciary.

"Justice was not served," said Ramadan Ahmed, whose son was killed on Jan. 28, 2011. "This is a sham.

Human Rights Watch called the verdict a landmark, but criticized the prosecution for failing to fully investigate the case.

"It sends a powerful message to Egypt's future leaders that they are not above the law," HRW spokesman Joe Stork said. "These convictions set an important precedent since just over a year ago, seeing Mubarak as a defendant in a criminal court would have been unthinkable."

There were celebrations in the streets when the verdict was announced, but it was short-lived, as protesters learned of the mixed verdict. Thousands of riot police in helmets and shields were needed to contain the restive, anti-Mubarak crowd outside the court. Some chanted "Retribution, retribution" while others spread posters of Mubarak on the ground and walked over them.

The charges, which related to the killing of more than 800 protesters during the 18-day uprising that ousted Mubarak, carried a possible death sentence, but the judge chose life imprisonment instead.

For Egyptians, boiling with anger over 30 years of corrupt rule, the verdict wasn't enough. Some on the streets carried banners that read "God's verdict is execution," while others in the city of Alexandra chanted "We are done with talk; we want an execution."

The verdict comes at a crucial time, with the country set for a run-off tiebreaker in its presidential elections. The showdown is a contest between Ahmed Shafiq, a former protégé of Mubarak's, and Mohammed Morsi, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In his Facebook page, Shafiq declined to comment on the court ruling, but said it shows no one is above the law in Egypt, and that the old regime would never come back.

In contrast, a spokesman for Morsi called the verdicts "shocking" and vowed retribution.

Morsi and Shafiq will go on a head-to-head presidential runoff on June 16-17.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun012012

Egypt Ends State of Emergency After Three Decades

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CAIRO) -- After 31 years, Egypt has finally ended its notorious state of emergency.

The set of sweeping powers that had given security forces a free hand to detain and even torture Egyptian citizens was put to rest on Thursday.

It's a historic shift for Egypt, shaking off the residue of Hosni Mubarak's regime and its legacy of brutal crackdowns on dissent.

The end of emergency rule also points to the changing role of Egypt's military, which has been practically in complete control of the country since the revolution last year.  A council of military leaders, longtime loyalists of Mubarak, has resisted giving up its powers.

But with Egypt set to pick its first freely elected president, civilian democracy is taking over from military autocracy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May242012

Egyptian Presidential Election Moving Along Smoothly

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- For the most part, things went very smoothly during the first day of Egypt's presidential elections as voters made their picks for the person they want to run their country after Hosni Mubarak's 30 years of authoritarian rule ended with his resignation in February 2011.

Those who didn't get around to casting their ballots will be back on Thursday for round two of the voting.

Amr Moussa, a one-time Arab League chief, and Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, are considered frontrunners in the election.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent, a runoff vote will be held on June 16 and 17, with Egypt's next president formally named four days later.

Meanwhile, at least one presidential hopeful got an idea Wednesday that he might have a hard time wining after being pelted with rocks and shoes when he went to vote at a Cairo polling station.

Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, who served under Mubarak, is a polarizing figure in Egypt, to say the least, with supporters of the old guard behind him.  Many Egyptians blame Shafiq for being partially responsible for the hundreds who lost their lives during the three weeks of demonstrations that led to Mubarak's ouster.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May232012

First Presidential Election Since Mubarak's Ouster Underway in Egypt

John Moore/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Long lines snaked out of polling stations across Egypt Wednesday morning as Egyptians went to cast their ballots in the country's first presidential election since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted last February. 

The sunny day was reflected in the attitudes of the voters who waited happily and calmly, often for hours, to cast their ballots for the 13 candidates running.

"I think everyone's upbeat, everyone's looking forward to the future," said Mohammed Kamel, the CEO of real estate development firm who was waiting to vote at a school in Giza.  "The country's sort of been on hold for the past 15 months, everyone's looking for stability."

The faces of the candidates stared out from campaign posters lining Cairo's congested streets.  Voters studied registration lists on walls to figure out where to go as soldiers and police kept the lines at polling stations moving as swiftly as they could.  Turnout was expected to top 60 percent among Egypt's 50 million voters.

Polling in the country has been inconsistent and is generally unreliable, but at least four frontrunners have emerged in the race to replace Mubarak and send the military, which has been ruling the country, back to their barracks.  They include Mubarak's former foreign minister, Amr Moussa; a former Muslim Brotherhood official, Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh; Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq; and the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Morsi.

Many Cairo voters on Wednesday also expressed support for liberal candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi.  If no candidate gets 50 percent in the first round, the top two candidates will face each other in a run-off in mid-June.

Aside from the big question of who will be president, equally pressing are the questions of what his powers will be -- given that a new constitution has not yet been written -- and how prominent the role of the military will be.

But those concerns seemed to take a back seat to the significance of the day as the voters, most reticent to reveal who they were voting for, expressed hope for this new chapter in Egyptian history.

"I'm very happy, I feel freedom," said a female voter.  "Of course I'm optimistic, a new Egypt and a new era."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr132012

Egyptian Presidential Candidate Oversaw Torture, According to Intelligence

Tara Todras-Whitehill-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One of the men campaigning to lead Egypt into its post-Mubarak future used to oversee torture for the Mubarak regime, according to Western intelligence experts, and even aided the CIA in its controversial “rendition” program for suspected terrorists.

The announcement by Omar Suleiman that he would be running for president brought thousands of protestors into Cairo’s streets this week, and spurred Egypt’s parliament to pass a law that would bar Suleiman and another former official in the Mubarak regime from seeking office.

Suleiman served at the top of Egyptian intelligence from 1993 until he was briefly appointed vice president to then-President Hosni Mubarak just days before the regime fell in February 2011. As ABC News reported last year, in that time experts said Suleiman had been America’s “point man in Egypt” and was integral to just about every intelligence operation the U.S. conducted there.

Ron Suskind, author of the book The One Percent Doctrine, told ABC News last year that when the CIA once asked Suleiman for a DNA sample from a relative of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, Suleiman offered the man’s whole arm instead.

“He’s a charitable man, friendly,” Suskin said. “He tortures only people that he doesn’t know.”

John Sifton, who authored a 2007 Human Rights Watch report on torture conducted by Egyptian intelligence, said Suleiman oversaw joint operations with the CIA and other Arab countries, “which featured illegal renditions and tortures of dozens of detainees.”

Despite such accusations, a leaked 2006 State Department memo underscored Suleiman’s value in America’s eyes.

“Our intelligence collaboration with Omar Soliman,” says the cable, using an alternate spelling of his name, “is now probably the most successful element of the [U.S.-Egypt] relationship.”

Mass protests by Islamist groups in Egypt have reportedly followed Suleiman’s bid for presidency, with thousands chanting in Tahrir Square Friday, “Suleiman, do you think this is the old days?”

Egypt’s parliament passed legislation Thursday that bans former Mubarak top officials from becoming president -- a measure that,  if approved by Egypt’s ruling military, could put a quick end to Suleiman’s controversial run, according to Egypt’s English-language newspaper Ahram.

Rejecting claims by Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that he would return Egypt to the days of Mubarak, Suleiman wrote in a state-owned newspaper that “no one, no matter who he is, will be able to reinvent a regime that fell, folded and was rejected and revolted against.”

“The clock cannot be turned back and the revolution laid down a new reality that cannot be ignored,” he wrote.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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