Cairo – Egypt’s top appeals court found on Thursday former president Hosni Mubarak innocent of involvement in the killing of peaceful protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year rule, the final ruling in a landmark case.
The hearing was held on Thursday, amidst general indifference by the Egyptians, who are more concerned with pressing daily issues, such as high living costs and security instability.
After an all-day hearing, Judge Ahmed Abdel Qawi announced: “The court has found the defendant innocent.”
The Cairo-based court rejected demands by lawyers of the victims to reopen civil suits, leaving no remaining option for appeal or retrial.
Mubarak was accused of inciting the deaths of nearly 900 protesters in an 18-day uprising that ended when he stepped down on February 11, 2011.
In June 2012, Mubarak was sentenced by a criminal court to life in prison – 20 years in jail per Egyptian law – for his complicity in the murder of protestors during the 2011 uprising.
The Cassation Court overturned Mubarak’s conviction in January 2013 and ordered a retrial. Other defendants in the same case, including Mubarak’s last interior minister Habib El-Adly and four of his aides, were also acquitted.
In November 2014, the criminal court acquitted the former president and all co-defendants of killing protesters, noting that the prosecution’s initial decision in March 2011 to charge Mubarak lacked the legal basis to bring a criminal case against him.
The 88-year-old ousted president has been confined to Maadi Military Hospital for treatment since 2012.
In January 2016, the Court of Cassation upheld a three-year prison sentence for Mubarak and his two sons for corruption in the case known as “the presidential palaces lawsuit”, for using public funds to upgrade his private property.