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Judge overturns former Egypt president's conviction, orders retrial

An Egyptian appeals judge on Sunday overturned former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] conviction and life sentence and ordered a retrial for the former president on the charge of failure to prevent the killing of more than 800 protestors last year. The judge did not give his reasons [AP report] for ordering the new trial, but the reasons are expected to be released later. A retrial was anticipated after the trial judge made it clear during the trial in June that the prosecution lacked hard evidence to support the conviction. Sunday's order also overturned the conviction of former Security Chief Habib el-Adli for the same charges and ordered a retrial for him as well. It also demanded a re-trial of six of Mubarak's aides who were acquitted on charges relating to the same incident and overturned a not-guilty verdict for Mubarak's two sons and his associate Hussein Salem for corruption charges. The dates for the retrials have not been determined yet.

Egyptian prosecutors in June revealed plans to appeal the verdict [JURIST report] in Mubarak's trial because they wanted to overturn the acquittals of his sons and associates. Under Egyptian law, they were forced to appeal the entire verdict [AP report] in order to appeal any part of it. The original verdict [JURIST report] was announced in June after a 10 month trial, and gave a life sentence to both Mubarak and el-Adli. The June verdict marked the first time a former Arab leader had been held accountable for his actions in a court of law. The lead prosecutor in the case had asked for the death penalty [JURIST report] for Mubarak at the conclusion of his trial in February.

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