Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to Be Sentenced; Death Penalty Possible, but Unlikely
It was a moment that Egyptians never thought possible - that one day, the strongman who ruled their country for over 30 years would wind up caged and visibly enfeebled, facing charges of murder, embezzlement, and misuse of public funds, while a judge pronounced sentence in a court of law.
When former president Hosni Mubarak was wheeled into the courtroom back in July 2011 and gave a curt “Present, your honor” as the judge called out his name, the excitement and momentousness of the occasion was clear. People across the region sat glued to their television screens, transfixed by the image of a dictator toppled and the first grindings of a judicial process designed to hold him to account.
Now, 10 months later, the country is focused on elections and the upcoming transfer of power - and grappling with how that transition will take place. In what seems like an afterthought of the revolutionary moment, now long past, Mubarak, his sons and aides will have a verdict and sentencing tomorrow.
Mubarak faces three charges: Ordering the deaths of peaceful demonstrators who took to the streets back in January and February of last year; misuse of public funds relating to the negotiations behind the awarding of the natural gas export contract to Israel; and corruption for accepting a bribe from fugitive Egyptian businessman Hussein Salem.
Mubarak’s sons face a corruption charge as well, in addition to a recent and separate accusation of insider trading on the stock market. All have pleaded not guilty.