Conflict & Justice

Egypt's Mubarak to be tried in criminal court

egypt-mubarak-sons-trial-protester-deaths-05-24-11.jpg

An Egyptian protester wearing the mask of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stands with handcuffs inside a makeshift prison cell at Cairo's Tahrir Square on April 8, 2011 during a demonstration attended by tens of thousands of Egyptians, two months after Mubarak was ousted, to demand that former regime officials including the veteran strongman be purged and tried.

Credit:

MISAM SALEH

Hosni Mubarak is heading to court, satisfying the demands of millions of Egyptian revolutionaries.

Egypt's state prosecutor charged the former president and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, with the deaths of hundreds of protesters during Egypt's January uprising on Tuesday.  Mubarak and his sons were also charged with corruption and abuse of power, according to local reports.  

Mubarak will be the first ousted leader in the Middle East to face a public trial in a court of law since the start of the Arab Spring.

But don't expect to see pictures of Mubarak in the standard-issue, white prison jumpsuit just yet.  

Reuters reports that Mubarak will not yet be moved to a military prison from Sharm el-Sheikh, where he is currently receiving treatment for a heart condition at a hospital in the Sinai resort city.

Even still, the announcement was met with jubilation by many Egyptians.  

"Finally it is going to happen.  It's been a long time coming, but we will have our justice," said Sherif Mohamed, 50, a Cairo resident who works just a block away from Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Egypt's revolution.  

More than 800 protesters were killed and over 6,000 injured - many by live police fire - during Egypt's uprising, according to a report by Amnesty International.

The news about Mubarak's planned trial comes just days before a planned march in Tahrir Square to "save the revolution."

Public frustration in Egypt has been mounting with increasing sectarian tension in Cairo and a spate of arrests of activist protesters.  Several allegations of state torture and prisoner abuse have surfaced since Mubarak's ouster on February 11.   

Much of the anger has been directed squarely at Egypt's interim military-led government, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.  

Earlier this week, bloggers in Egypt vented their displeasure online en masse, defying an unwritten rule against publicly criticizing Egypt's military.