Judge to Issue Mubarak Verdict on June 2
Earlier today, the Judge presiding over the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak and his associates said that he would hand down his final verdict on Saturday, June 2. Judge Ahmed Refaat, who has overseen the trial since late August, added that the verdict and sentencing would be broadcast live on TV. Today was the last session in the trial of the former President, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, and six of their associates. The men are accused of killing demonstrators during the January 25 uprising that ousted Mubarak. In his final statement, al-Adly blamed the deaths on “foreign saboteurs who desecrated Egypt’s pure land… with the aim of undermining Egypt’s international and regional standing.” The former president made no final comment. Mubarak’s sons, Alaa and Gamal, are also being tried for corruption. The attorney general and lawyers representing families of those killed have demanded the death penalty for Mubarak.
This week, experts are weighing in on the ongoing NGO crisis. Eric Trager argues that whether or not the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) directed the NGO crackdown. “Washington’s relationship with it is no longer worth $1.3 billion,” referring to the U.S. military aid to Egypt. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times disagrees, saying, “we have to be patient and see this for what [it is]… elements of the old regime playing the last cards they have.” In Al Jazeera, Richard Falk claims the dubious nature of these NGOs makes the probe “quite understandable.” Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review agrees that “Muslims perceive [U.S.-funded NGOs] as a Trojan Horse designed by the West to corrupt Islamic values,” and asks, “why should the U.S. fund ‘countries that despise us?’” Christian Caryl of Foreign Policy argues that “Americans have been deeply unpopular in Egypt for years,” and “we should hardly expect those who are losing power to step aside quietly.” The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) appeared to soften its stance on the NGO issue. The FJP “fully rejects… politically motivated crackdowns against NGOs” FJP Chairman Mohammed Morsi stated, and any investigation ”must be done in accordance with the law.”
Also in Egypt, Amnesty International issued a press release today criticizing the conduct of the Egyptian security forces, saying, “promises of reform of the security forces continue to ring hollow in the face of the killing of more than a hundred protesters in the last five months.”