Hosni Mubarak, the ousted Egyptian president who turned power over to the military in the face of a popular uprising last year, was sentenced to life in prison over the weekend for failing to stop the killing of demonstrators during the protests that ultimately led to his downfall.
But while Mubarak and his former interior minister, Habib el-Adly, were convicted of being “accessory to murder,” they and their codefendants were acquitted of more serious charges of having ordered the killings of nearly 1,000 protesters last year. Mubarak and his sons were further acquitted of corruption charges. The verdict brought tens of thousands of people to the streets to protest the outcome of the trial.
Reem Abou-El-Fadl, junior research fellow at the department of politics and international relations at Oxford University, and Larbi Sadiki, a Middle East expert at the University of Exeter, told Trend Lines that the verdict and the backlash against it underscore the challenges of ensuring accountability in revolutionary societies.