Egypt prosecutor: Mubarak to stand trial, could face death penalty

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[JURIST] The Egyptian prosecutor general said Tuesday that former president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] will be put on trial and could face the death penalty for conspiring to kill protesters during demonstrations in Egypt [JURIST news archive] early this year and for other corruption charges. However, many are still skeptical that Mubarak will actually make it to court, especially since he was able to evade detention for so long. Also, some human rights activists are concerned with the prosecutor’s lack of transparency. The announcement comes before a planned demonstration Friday calling for Mubarak to stand trial. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] published a statement [press release] Tuesday calling for all those responsible for killing protesters to be tried, including the military. If Mubarak goes to trial, it would be the first time in modern history [AP report] an Arab leader has been toppled and tried solely by the nation’s own people.

Last week, AI reported that at least 840 people were killed [JURIST report], and more than 6,000 were injured, during the Egyptian protests. Earlier this month, an Egyptian criminal court convicted [JURIST report] the country’s former tourism minister, Zoheir Garranah, for corruption and sentenced him to five years in prison. In April, Egyptian prosecutors charged [JURIST report] former prime minister Ahmed Nazif, former finance minister Yousef Boutros and former interior minister Habib el Adly with corruption. In March, a commission of Arab and Egyptian human rights groups accused the former president [JURIST report] and the country’s police of murdering protesters during the demonstrations. The joint commission submitted their report to Egypt’s top prosecutor for further investigation. The Supreme Military Council of Egypt, which assumed power after Mubarak’s resignation, instructed Egypt’s top prosecutor to investigate the death of protesters [RIA Novosti report] during the three weeks of demonstrations in the country.

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