Hosni Mubarak Can't Be Detained for Killings During 2011 Uprising, Being Held for Corruption Instead

Nothing changes


exit stage right, enter stage left
Ramy Raoof/

Former Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak, in power for more than twenty years, resigned the presidency in February 2011 after some two weeks of protests in Cairo and around the country. Within a few months he was charged with deaths related to the crackdown of the Arab Spring protests as well as general corruption. Mubarak was eventually found guilty and sentenced to life for failing to prevent the killing of protesters during the crackdown. That conviction, though, was overturned on a technicality in January, and Egypt's high court ordered a re-trial. This weekend the new judge withdrew, indefinitely delaying the trial, and today another court ruled Mubarak could no longer be detained for the charges related to his re-trial. Instead, he'll be detained for the corruption charges.

Meanwhile, the new president, Mohammed Morsi, appointed a committee to investigate government crimes during the 2011 revolution. A portion of their report, submitted in January but not made public, was leaked last week. It accuses the military, which touted itself as a neutral force during the uprisings, of torture, kidnapping and murder. The military denies the allegations, and Morsi rejected "insults" against the armed forces. Earlier this month, the State Department condemned Egypt for targeting dissent after a popular satirist was detained and questioned for "insulting" the president and Islam, a tactic also used under Mubarak. An autumn power-grab by Morsi led to the presidential palace being stormed again in December. That nothing's changed appears to be a common opinion in Egypt, and with continued funding coming from the United States, in Washington too. The American largesse helped Mubarak, now being held for corruption, amass a fortune upward of $40 billion.