Charges against Mubarak may be dropped

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is scheduled to go on trial this week, charged with the murders of 800 protestors who died in demonstrations that led to the toppling of his regime.

But that trial might not even take place.

Herald Sun:

SPECULATION is reportedly mounting that charges against ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak could be dismissed as his trial resumes in Cairo.

Mubarak, 83, is charged with corruption and involvement in the deaths of more than 800 protesters during the uprising that toppled his 29-year regime last year.

His sons Gamal and Alaa are simultaneously on trial, as are Mubarak's former security chief and six top police commanders, charged with giving orders to kill protesters in Tahrir Square during the 18-day uprising, during which about 850 people were killed and more than 1000 injured..

Egyptian prosecutors are preparing to present their final arguments at a court in Cairo.

The ailing former leader was brought by helicopter to the Cairo courthouse from a hospital where he is held in custody, and was carried into the courthouse on a stretcher.

The Associated Press reported that the recent acquittal of policemen tried in the killings of protesters could be a prelude to Mubarak's acquittal:

Another Cairo court on Thursday acquitted five policemen of charges of killing five protesters in the capital's el-Sayedah Zeinab district during the January 25-February 11 uprising. The court said three of the defendants were not at the site of the killings while the other two fired on protesters in self-defence.

Lawyers for families of protesters killed say they fear rulings last week will lead to Mubarak's acquittal and have also unsuccessfully sued to have presiding judge Ahmed Refaat and the two other judges, whom they claim are compromised, replaced, according to The Egyptian Gazette, cited by UPI.

The protestors in Tahrir Square would go ballistic if Mubarak were to skate, and they'd be joined by many thousands more.

But the dynamic on the ground may have changed. The majority of the Egyptian people are tired of the protests, the disruptions, the lousy economy, and the constant tension. They might not like the idea of Mubarak literally getting away with murder, but their natural cynicism would chalk it up to the idea that nothing much has changed since Mubarak left and nothing much is likely to change.

What would the Brotherhood say about Mubarak being acquitted? They've made their deal with the devil - the military - and would no doubt condemn the court but would not call for nationwide protests. They're going to come to power and have to deal with the military so it is unlikely they would make a big stink about it.