The Egyptian Court of Cassation has ordered the retrial of former President Hosni Mubarak and his former security chief, Habib el-Adly, after accepting their right to appeal against life sentences that they were facing for the deaths of nearly 900 protesters during a national uprising in 2011.
“The court has ruled to accept the appeal filed by the defendants... and orders a retrial,” announced Judge Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman.
Following the ruling, Mr. Mubarak’s supporters chanted: “Long live justice!” Others lofted the deposed President’s pictures, and hugged each other. “We love you, President!” some shouted outside the courtroom.
The former President’s lawyer, Mohamed Abdel Razek told Reuters that that the retrial “will be based on the same evidence used in the previous trial”. There is a possibility that a new panel of judges would take over the trial, and take into consideration, the poor state of Mr. Mubarak’s health, when issuing the verdict.
But at the request of the prosecutors, Judge Abdel Rahman also ruled that Mr. Mubarak, his sons Gamal and Alaa, as well as fugitive businessman Hussein Salem would be re-tried for their alleged involvement in corruption.
They had been absolved of corruption in June last year. Mr. Mubarak’s sons, including one-time heir-apparent Gamal, are in prison as they undergo a trial, on another case, for alleged insider trading and misusing their political influence to purchase state land, far below the prevailing market price.
Six of Mr. el-Adly’s top assistants, who had been acquitted last June on charges of killing protesters, will also face trial again.
Mr. Mubarak had been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for failing to prevent the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising.
While Mr. Mubarak’s lawyers have argued that the former President was not aware of the killings, an Egyptian fact-finding mission has reportedly concluded that the former President had monitored the uprising live at his palace through a real-time TV feed.
The date of the retrial for either Mr. Mubarak or Mr. el-Adly has not been announced yet. Separately, Mr. Mubarak was remanded on Saturday for 15 days, pending further investigation into another corruption case in which he faces charges of misappropriating public funds to the tune of one million dollars.
Investigations were carried out at a military hospital where Mr. Mubarak was shifted in December from the Torra prison hospital. Mr. Mubarak was apparently questioned over watches, pens, bags, belts and jewellery, which he allegedly received from the custodians of the official al-Ahram newspaper.