Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was today acquitted of a murder charge by a court which found him not guilty in the killing of hundreds of unarmed protesters during the 2011 revolution that toppled the former strongman’s nearly three decades-long regime.
In a dramatic reversal of fortune, Judge Mahmud Kamel al-Rashidi also acquitted Mubarak of corruption charges for exporting gas to Israel.
“It was not suitable to try him of crimes according to the penal code,” al-Rashidi said as he threw out the murder case.
The judgement overturns the life sentence Mubarak received in June 2012, and means he will face no punishment for allegedly sanctioning the murder of 846 protesters during Egypt’s 2011 uprising or for allegedly profiting from the export of gas at below-market rates.
The courtroom erupted in cheers when the judge concluded Mubarak’s retrial by dismissing the charges.
The court ruled that Mubarak’s seven former security commanders, including his former interior minister Habib al-Adly, were “innocent” in the killing of anti-government protesters during the 2011 revolution.
The 86-year-old, dressed in his trademark shades and wearing the blue clothes of a convict, was wheeled into the caged dock on an upright stretcher.
His two sons were also acquitted from all corruption charges.
The final verdict of Mubarak’s retrial was issued in 1,430 pages, al-Rashidi said.
Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 but the verdict was successfully appealed in January, 2013, as the presiding judge ruled that there was not enough evidence presented by the prosecution. His retrial began in April 2013.
Though Mubarak was not convicted on any charges today, he still will not be freed as in May, a Cairo court sentenced Mubarak to three years in prison for embezzlement.
Mubarak is serving the sentence at a military hospital on the southern outskirts of Cairo.
In May 2011, al-Adly was also convicted of money laundering and profiteering, for which he received a 12-year jail sentence. The Court of Cassation overturned the conviction and ordered a retrial.
Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal are currently serving four-year prison terms for embezzlement of state funds.