Skip to main content

Egypt court to retry Mubarak over murder charge

It was not immediately clear if the retrial also applied to Mubarak's seven co-defendants
Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak looks on from his room at the Maadi military hospital in Cairo on 4 May, 2015 (AFP)

An Egyptian appeals court will retry former president Hosni Mubarak over the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising, after annulling a decision to drop murder charges against the former strongman.

The Court of Cassation on Thursday accepted the prosecution's appeal against the dismissal of the murder charge levelled at Mubarak, who had initially been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The court "accepts the prosecution's appeal and has set a session for November 5 to review it," Judge Anwar El-Gabry announced.

It was not immediately clear if the court would issue a new verdict then, or if that would be the start date for any retrial, according to Mubarak's defence team.

The court also upheld the acquittal of Mubarak's seven co-defendants - including feared former interior minister Habib al-Adly - who had the charges dismissed last November, Adly's lawyer Essam Bastawy told AFP.

In the months following his ouster, Egypt's interim military rulers rounded up top Mubarak-era leaders and police commanders and put them on trial, under pressure from protesters.

Most have been acquitted, but Egyptian courts have handed harsh mass sentences down to Islamists including Egypt's first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi. 

He was ousted by then army chief and current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in July 2013 following mass protests against his one-year rule. 

Hundreds of Morsi supporters were also sentenced to death after speedy trials, described by the UN as "unprecedented in recent history".

In 2012, a court sentenced Mubarak to life over the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 revolt.

An appeals court later overturned the verdict on technical grounds and ordered a retrial.

In November 2014 a court dropped the murder charge against Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades until he was forced from power by the 2011 democratic uprisings that swept the region.

That decision sparked an outcry among the opposition, which has been targeted by a sweeping crackdown by the authorities since Morsi's ouster leaving hundreds dead and thousands jailed.

Youth leaders who spearheaded the revolt have also been jailed on charges of illegal protest over the past year. 

The official death toll during the 18 days of protest that toppled Mubarak stands at 846.

Mubarak, who ruled for three decades, now aged 87, is currently being held in a military hospital in Cairo. He and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, were last month sentenced to three years in jail for corruption. 

Rights groups accuse Sisi of establishing a more repressive regime than that of Mubarak, whose rule was characterised by wide extra-judicial executions and human rights violations carried out by security apparatuses.