An Egyptian judge dismissed on Saturday all charges of corruption and of killing 239 protesters (out of over 840 dead) against former President Hosni Mubarak on procedural grounds. The court also acquitted Mubarak’s two sons, a close business associate, Mubarak’s former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six of his state security aides.
This comes as a devastating conclusion for the families of hundreds of martyrs and injured of the January 25 Revolution and its aftermath who have waited for over three long years for justice to be served. But in reality, this verdict should not be surprising, particularly coming from a judiciary that has been widely viewed as highly politicised, not independent from the executive branch, and acting as the judicial arm of the “deep state” and its current military-backed regime.
Mubarak’s case has not been an issue of justice but one of politics. It sadly mirrors the trajectory of the faltering January 25 Revolution. When the revolution was vibrant and united three years ago, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that was running the country then had to yield to popular pressure and put Mubarak, his sons, and his security lieutenants on trial. He, and many of his men, was acquitted when the revolution became weak as a result of the July 2013 military coup that has relentlessly been undoing the January 25 Revolution. Ironically, the youth, who succeeded in 2011 in bringing Mubarak’s regime down, have been sentenced to long prison terms by the same judiciary for defying the restrictive protest law and for their opposition to the military-backed rule of Egypt’s new authoritarian general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is by far more brutal, bloody and capricious than Mubarak.