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Egypt and the world come to terms with Mubarak's release

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Egypt and the world come to terms with Mubarak's release


The revolution in Egypt in early 2011 was meant to set a new course for Egypt.

It led to the removal of Hosni Mubarak who had ruled the country for 29 years.

The cost in human terms of toppling the former president was over 800 dead.

After 17 days the protesters sensed a victory, they had got their way and Mubarak was set to relinquish power.

Speaking in February 2011 he said: “I decided to delegate to the vice president responsibilities of the president according to the constitution. I know very well that Egypt will overcome this crisis and that its will will not be broken. May God bless Egypt as a safe country and cherish its people. Peace be with you.”

The streets in Cairo and throughout the country reacted with an explosion of joy. A moment in history it also signalled the start of a process to bring justice as Egyptians demanded their former ruler be tried.

The trial opened in August and under the media glare it was the first chance for the world to assess the former ruler. Weak and emaciated he faced the court on a stretcher. He denied all charges against him, which included corruption and responsibility for the death of civilians during the revolution.

On June 2, 2012, the judges gave their verdict. Mubarak and his former interior minister were sentenced to life in prison for the death of protesters. The 84-year-old announced he would appeal, following which a new trial was ordered.

In the wake of the verdict, the former head of state suffered a stroke and his life at one time seemed to be ebbing away. Outside the hospital supporters showed their pain praying for him, many of them in tears.

The last remaining corruption case against Mubarak relates to allegations that he had received gifts from a state-run publisher. However, his family has paid back the value of the alleged gifts, a point his lawyer said strengthened the case for his release.

Correspondents said freeing the former ruler could be seen by many as a sign the military is rolling back the changes that flowed from the uprising while some analysts believe that releasing him is evidence that the Arab world’s most populous country is not following a path to democracy.

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