3 Jun 2012

Egyptians protest over Mubarak trial

5:37 pm on 3 June 2012

Thousands of Egyptians have continued to protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square and in cities across the country after former president Hosni Mubarak was jailed for life for his part in the killing of protesters during the 2011 revolution.

The BBC reports the crowds are furious at the acquittal of key security officials who were on trial alongside Mubarak.

Four interior ministry officials and two local security chiefs were cleared of complicity in protesters' killings.

Rallies against the verdict were also held in Alexandria, Suez and Mansoura.

In another development, dozens of protesters stormed the campaign headquarters of presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq in the Fayoum area south of Cairo, Egyptian media reported.

Mr Shafiq was Mubarak's last prime minister.

Some protesters at Tahrir Square, the focal point of last year's uprising, say they are determined to begin a sit-in.

They have been joined by prominent public figures and football fans known as Ultras, who have been implicated in a number of political confrontations.

The slogan from last year's uprising: "Down with the military rule" is being chanted in the square and many have vociferously condemned Saturday's verdict.

Mubarak jailed for life

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison by a court in Cairo for complicity in the killing of protesters during the uprising that led to his fall from power last year.

The 84-year-old is the first former leader to be tried in person since the start of the uprising in early 2011, the BBC reports.

Mubarak's former interior minister Habib al-Adly was also given a life term for the killings.

Four high-ranking interior ministry officials, including former deputy interior minister and head of state security, Hassan Abd El Rahman, were acquitted. Two other regional directors of security were also acquitted.

Corruption charges against Mubarak's sons, Alaa and Gamal, were dropped but the pair stay in jail over another case.

The 84-year-old former president was propped up on the a hospital stretcher in as he listened to the verdict.

Afterwards, he was whisked off by helicopter to a prison hospital near Cairo.

Protests following the verdict

There were chaotic scenes in court after the judge finished delivering his verdicts.

People in the public gallery jumped to their feet and began shouting after Mr Mubarak was taken away with his fellow defendants.

Outside the building, Mubarak's sentencing was initially greeted by celebrations from relatives of those killed, the BBC reports.

But the mood soon soured and protesters clashed with riot police as the crowd learned that the interior ministry officials had been acquitted.

Protesters held up images of those killed in the uprising and called for the former president's execution.

Hosni Mubarak governed Egypt for 30 years before a popular uprising toppled him. About 850 people were killed in the 18-day uprising.

Hundreds of police surrounded the court set up at the Police Academy on Cairo's outskirts.