On 13 March 2017, the legal saga of the trial of Hosni Mubarak ended. The deposed autocrat, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his complicity in the killing of hundreds of demonstrators and embezzlement on a grander scale, was acquitted by Egypt’s Court of Cassation and freed from his detention. “The trial of the century”, as Egyptians have dubbed Mubarak’s prosecution, began soon after millions of Arabs took to the streets all over the Middle East, and it was concluded against the backdrop of the deep frustration of most from the results of the Arab Spring. This legal ordeal is but one prominent manifestation of the decisive role that the legal system played during the struggle …
I have recently published an article entitled ‘Trying Mubarak’, discussing what has been called ‘the trial of the century’ in Egypt. I argue that the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, which began on 3 August 2011, represents a barometer of the fortunes of the January Revolution as a whole. A common challenge confronts both the achievement of accountability in the trial, and the fulfilment of the Revolution’s demands, namely the role of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). This article discusses the achievement which the holding of this trial represents in the context of the revolution, as well as the practical challenges faced by the legal team of the victims’ families. It then considers the …
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