Egyptians express mixed reaction to Mubarak’s self-defense in court

A picture shows the live broadcast of Egyptian toppled president Hosni Mubarak as he talks during his trial at the Police Academy on August 13, 2014. (AFP)

While facing charges of killing protestors in the 2011 uprpsing that ousted him, for the second time, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has stirred agitation in both court and amongst Egyptians as he gave a brief speech during his trial on Wednesday.

A contentious figure, Mubarak’s trial attracted an array of reactions on social media.

Egyptians took to Twitter where they used the #MubarakTrial hash tag to archive their response. Some sympathized, most did not.

“I feel like my dad is on trial #MubarakTrial stay strong and keep ur head held high! Ur my generation's father! #egypt” Alia Abdelrahman tweeted.


Another user, Sara Ussama, said she “missed” Mubarak’s voice.

Others criticized the speech Mubarak gave when asked to defend himself, saying it did not address the charges pressed against him which instead defended his 30-year occupancy as president of the North African country.

Timothy Kaldas, a professor of politics at Nile University and an Egypt-based writer tweeted: “#Mubarak finished his speech to the nation. Perhaps now he'll address the court with his defense over the actual charges.”

To some Egyptians, Mubarak’s words were reminiscent of the addresses he made in the days leading to his step-down.

Lina al-Wardani, an Egyptian journalist with almost 40 thousand followers on twitter, criticized the tone Mubarak used in his speech describing it as “threatening and patronizing.”

While Yara al Sayes, who identifies herself as an Egypt-based blogger, exclaimed at Mubarak’s apparent detachment.

Egyptians will have to wait until September 27 to find out if Mubarak is indeed guilty of killing protestors during the 2011 janurary  mass demonstrations that ousted him.

In June 2012, a Cairo court convicted the 82 year-old former president for failing to prevent the killing of protestors during the 2011 uprising. Wednesday’s trial was a result of an appeal upheld in July against a ruling for a life sentence.

While many Egyptians would like to see Egypt’s judiciary once and for all convict Mubarak of killing protesters, the case seems to lack evidence.

According to Mamdouh Badr, an Egyptian lawyer based in Dubai, a lack of tangible evidence directly linking the killing of protestors to Mubarak led the judge in the 2012 case to convict Mubarak of “failing to take the necessary precautions to prevent killing of protestors” rather than “killing protestors.”

That being said, it is highly unlikely that Egypt’s new government will directly influence the court’s decision, Badr explained.

“The state may impose itself through public opinion, through media, but someone calling the judge and telling him what to rule is highly unlikely,” he told Al Arabiya news.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42