[JURIST] An Egyptian court on Saturday found former Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile, JURIST news archive], guilty of complicity to kill protesters during the Arab Spring protests and sentenced him to life in prison. The court also found former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli guilty of the same charge and sentenced him to a term of life imprisonment. Mubarak’s sons, Alaa and Gamal, along with six security officials, were acquitted of their charges of corruption. During the protests that resulted in the overturning of Mubarak’s thirty-year regime, Mubarak ordered government officials to use gunfire and other violent measures to subdue protesters, resulting in over 850 deaths. Mubarak’s ten-month trial marks the first time a former Arab leader has been held accountable [Reuters report] for his actions in a court of law. Rights group Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] released a statement [press release] on Saturday criticizing the verdict as failing to deliver full justice because Mubarak’s sons and security officials were not punished for their alleged participation in the violence. Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] also commented on Mubarak’s sentence [press release], believing the verdict sends a message to future Egyptian leaders that they are not immune from the law.
Mubarak’s trial ended in February [JURIST report] after the lead prosecutor in the case asked the presiding judge for a death sentence in his closing remarks. The prosecution began presenting its case [JURIST report] against Mubarak in January. Mubarak’s trial started [JURIST report] in August 2011 and made slow progress. The trial resumed in December in the Egyptian court after a two-month adjournment [JURIST reports] allowing the court time to rule on a motion made by lawyers representing the victims’ families to have the three-judge panel in the case removed. Mubarak resigned [JURIST report] from the presidency in February 2011 following calls for Mubarak’s resignation by demonstrators.