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Mubarak and two sons go on trial in Egypt

Alfie · 9 · 231

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Offline Alfie

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Toddy might be interested in this topic so I thought I'd post it to get his thoughts.



Five months after an uprising ended his 30 years of nearly absolute rule, Egypt's ex-president Hosni Mubarak goes on trial on charges that could see him hanged. He has denied charges of corruption and ordering the killing of protesters, on the opening day of his trial in Cairo. Mubarak spoke from a hospital stretcher where he lay inside a cage for defendants. The proceedings were shown live on state television. The presiding judge, later adjourned the trial, announcing that it would resume on August 15.


Changed days. Mubarak is now in a cage. What do you think will happen to him? Will he survive the trial? (He's supposed to be ill). Or will he top himself before the end? Or will somebody help him? Will he and his two sons die in a suicide pact? I really don't think he could stand being found guilty.

'You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!'


Toddy

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I have been following this, Alfie. It is a tricky call.

I am surprised that it has come to this in the Arab world. I would have thought that the old man would have been allowed exile in some other country and then Egypt could "move on" to other, arguably, more pressing business of getting a new constitution sorted and the country moving forward.I am not saying that is how it should be.

The trial is polarising Egyptians to some degree. I suspect that the younger, politically aware folks want to see a fair trial. But what if the death sentence is handed down? Could this cause more problems in the country/wider Arab world? We are in unchartered waters here.

Perhaps, in a way, it might be better if he simply dies before the trial can be completed.

Egypt is facing uncertain times and anything could happen. We could see anothe Iran emerge. On balance I don't think that is likely. Nobody really knows, however, and anything could happen. No easy answers in this case.


Offline Alfie

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Yes, exile would have been good. If I recall correctly he was offered exile but turned it down. He said something like "I will die in Egypt". That statement made me wonder if he had considered suicide as an option or whether he just felt old with a limited lifespan. Or perhaps it was just rhetoric. I suspect he would rather die of natural causes then, in his mind, he will go to his death 'innocent' - or at least not found guilty in a court of law. I think he has refused food at times. Again, I wonder if this is some kind of attempt to bring about his death a it sooner than was preordained. Or it might just be  a ploy to try to avoid a trial on health grounds.

'You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!'


Offline Alfie

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On the wider implications, the trial will likely make other less than democratic leaders (Arab or otherwise) think twice about relinquishing power. If they go semi-willingly like Mubarak, they might end up in the dock or with a rope round their necks. The survival instinct will push them to kill the opposition rather than be killed. Apart from the arrogance of some leaders, I am sure that will lay a part in their thinking. Assad in Syria comes to mind. Actually, it is kind of inevitable in authoritarian illegitimate regimes. 
'You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!'


Toddy

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On the wider implications, the trial will likely make other less than democratic leaders (Arab or otherwise) think twice about relinquishing power. If they go semi-willingly like Mubarak, they might end up in the dock or with a rope round their necks. The survival instinct will push them to kill the opposition rather than be killed. Apart from the arrogance of some leaders, I am sure that will lay a part in their thinking. Assad in Syria comes to mind. Actually, it is kind of inevitable in authoritarian illegitimate regimes. 

Agreed.


Toddy

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Egypt is kicking off again. Protests in Cairo and Alex against the current military regime. It could all turn very nasty, very quickly.  :(


Offline Alfie

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I'm not surprised, Toddy. Egyptians suspect the military want to hold on to power. It certainly seems that way. They want to be above civilian cotrol and they want a budget outwith civilian control. Seems they want to make sure they can do whatever they please and get paid handsomely for it. Legit or otherwise.

Quote

Earlier in November, Egypt's military rulers produced a draft document setting out principles for a new constitution. Under those guidelines, the military would be exempted from civilian oversight, as would its budget.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15809739
'You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!'


Offline Alfie

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IIRC, elections start next week!!

Yep.

"Parliamentary elections are due to begin on 28 November and take three months."
'You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!'