- Life Style
While some papers focus on the historic sentencing of former President Hosni Mubarak and ex-Interior Minister Habib al-Adly to life in prison while acquitting Mubarak’s sons and Adly’s deputies, others focus on the strong popular reaction, even going as far as calling it “a new revolution.”
State newspaper Al-Ahram uncharacteristically skips its traditional celebration of state moves and leads with “anger takes over Egypt due to lack of retribution for the martyrs.”
The presiding judge, Ahmed Refaat, handed down life sentences to Mubarak and Adly on Saturday for failing to stop the killing of protesters, while determining that there was not enough evidence to convict Adly’s deputies, all six of whom were acquitted. Mubarak, his two sons Gamal and Alaa, and businessman Hussein Salem were also acquitted of charges relating to financial corruption and exporting gas to Israel.
Al-Ahram describes a dramatic scene of the former president refusing to leave the helicopter on realizing that he was being taken to Tora prison to start serving his sentence rather than the medical center where he has stayed so far. After two and a half hours of Mubarak reportedly yelling at the people present, the paper reports that his personal bodyguard was able to convince him to get off.
The paper reports that the 84-year-old suffered a health crisis that needed medical intervention upon his arrival to the prison, where he’s set to serve 25 years. As a result of the verdict, Al-Ahram reports that Mubarak has been stripped of his military posture and merits.
Al-Tahrir runs of the headline of today’s issue with “After the acquittal of Adly’s deputies, who killed the revolution’s martyrs?” The independent newspaper doesn’t attempt to answer this question but presents its gloomy view of the ruling’s implications.
According to legal experts interviewed by the paper, the ruling clears Mubarak financially and makes it impossible to retrieve the money he has smuggled abroad. The experts also consider the acquittal of the Interior Ministry officials “a permission to kill,” saying the ruling will embolden current and future ministry officials to use excessive force in the knowledge that they will escape the punishment.
In a political analysis of the verdict, the paper expects it to benefit Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Morsy, who will be running opposite Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, in the election runoff this month.
The Brotherhood’s official Freedom and Justice party paper cashes in on the verdict. On its front page, the paper has the headline “The people want to prosecute the tyrant — shock in the street and Tahrir is boiling.”
With a picture of Morsy lifted up on shoulders in Tahrir Square, the paper headlines its third page with “The revolution’s candidate in Tahrir Square” and quotes Morsy promising a retrial of the protesters’ killers.
Independent Al-Dostour, contrary to most, celebrated the verdict, headlining its first page with “Finally, Mubarak in Tora in a blue suit.”
Its celebration might be related to its fear that criticism benefits the Brotherhood’s presidential candidate, whom it has been relentlessly attacking. On its first page, the paper writes “Beware people, the Brotherhood is using the verdicts to take over power.”
If that was not enough, the paper also has a special file in which it accuses the Brotherhood of opening prisons in the early days of the revolution, an act widely considered a desperate measure by the state during the uprising to create chaos and retake power.
The paper titles its coverage of the verdict “The conviction of a regime” and profiles the judicial figures involved in the case, referring to them as “the people who convicted the regime.” Among them is Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, who is widely criticized by revolutionaries.
Independent Al-Shorouk, however, has a different view, as demonstrated in its main headline: “The conviction of Mubarak and the acquittal of his regime.”
Wael Kandil, the paper’s managing editor, writes in his column: “The verdict is against the revolution, even though it may have flirted with it in its introduction. Its bottom line is that it opens the way for the Mubarak regime’s machine to return, only shifting its ownership from the big man to his sons and men. Things can settle for them again, they can tighten their grip on the state and then they can release their master, who taught them corruption and dictatorship.”
Independent Al-Watan focuses on the reaction to the verdict, which resulted in an ongoing sit-in in Tahrir, headlining its first page “A new revolution.”
Papers also report protests and marches nationwide against the verdicts.
Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt
Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size
Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run
Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run
Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned
Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned
Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned
Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party
Youm7: Daily, privately owned
Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned
Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party
Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned
Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party
Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party