The historical trial of the ousted president Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, as well as previous Minister of Interior Habib al-Adli and six of his aids took place in the police academy in Cairo (8/3/11).
Millions of Egyptian and foreign viewers watched the trial on TV. All of the accused were seen in the court cage where Mr. Mubarak was on a mobile hospital bed and the rest of the accused were standing. The court prosecutor read the wide range of crimes committed by the accused.
Mr. Mubarak faces three major crimes: the killing of unarmed Egyptian protestors, the illegal sale of natural gas to Israel and the abuse and waste of public wealth. If the ousted president is convicted, he will face a death sentence.
The ex-minister al-Adli is facing similar charges as well and if convicted will also face a death sentence. The other accused individuals, Jamal and Alaa, will receive 5-15 years in prison if convicted. The other accused also appeared in court (8/4/11).
The interesting open court trial reflects the beginning of a new stage of democracy in Egypt, where all people are considered equal according to the law. This gives Egypt a new birth certificate reflecting a new era of freedom and democracy that the whole world is witnessing.
Furthermore, seeing and listening the prosecutor calling the names of the accused and reading the accusation of crimes committed was a historical moment, despite the fact that all the accused denied that they committed any crimes. Nearly seven months ago, no person in Egypt could have predicted seeing the accused in a court cage. It is a tribute to the young Egyptians who started the revolution and the millions of Egyptians who supported them.
Finally, credit also should be given to the Egyptian army, who refused to turn their guns against their own people and despite the delay of the trial of the ousted president, have finally responded to public requests to implement the revolutionary demands.
Nevertheless, until the date when the accused appeared in court, many people, including myself and those I spoke with, thought that the trial would not take place due to the fact that many members of the Higher Military Council were appointed by Mubarak. These members will be reluctant to see Mubarak being humiliated in public. In addition, the Egyptian Higher Military Council, was also under heavy pressure by the political leaders of oil producing countries, especially Saudi Arabia, to stop any attempts to prosecute Mubarak. The Saudis were very angry when the military forced Mubarak to leave office as a result of the demands by millions of Egyptians.
The history of the Arab world reflects that the political heads of state stay in power until they die, are killed in office or are removed by a military coup. A new horizon has begun to emerge in the Arab world, in which dictatorship and authoritarianism is no longer acceptable to the people who have thrown away the blanket of fear.
The trial of the ousted Egyptian president who ruled Egypt with an iron first has come to an end. His prosecution is sending a message that from now on, no person will be above the law.
Finally, the prosecution of Hosni Mubarak will send a message to the remaining corrupt political leaderships of the Arab world