Egyptian ex-president Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life imprisonment Saturday for complicity in the deaths of anti-government protestors. The deposed Egyptian president was wheeled into the Cairo courtroom to hear the verdict and the heard the sentence from the defendant's cage, the state television showed.
Mubarak, 84, was found guilty of ordering the killing of demonstrators during the Arab spring in early 2011. Former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly was also awarded the life sentence along with Mubarak.
However, Mubarak's two sons, Gamal and Alaa, were acquitted on charges of financial corruption.
Total silence prevailed in the courtroom before Judge Ahmed Refaat announced the sentence. Mubarak, wearing dark sunglasses, heard the verdict with a stony expression.
Refaat said the 10-month trial was impartial and added that Egyptians have come out of deep darkness after Mubarak's ouster.
The people of Egypt woke on Tuesday, Jan. 25, to a new dawn, hoping that they would be able to breathe fresh air ... after 30 years of deep, deep, deep darkness, Refaat told the court, Reuters reported.
Mubarak is the first leader who is facing a civil court after the Arab uprising started last year. Arab spring, a wave of protests that was started in the Arab world countries, led to the dethronement of the rulers of four nations. The verdict was welcomed with cheers and shouts by the relatives of those who were killed in the Arab uprising. There were also calls demanding death penalty for the ousted president.
As the judge announced the verdict, they started chanting God is great and Martyrs blood was not spilled in vain.
Soha Saeed, the wife of one of the victims shouted, I'm so happy. I'm so happy, says a BBC report.
I want nothing less than the death penalty for Mubarak. Anything less and we will not be silent and the revolution will break out again, Hanafi el-Sayed, whose 27-year-old son was killed in the uprising, told onislam.net.
People also celeberated the ex-president's life imprisonment sentence on the streets by lighting fire crackers.
However, there was also disappointment over the acquittal of two aides of Habib al-Adly, who were widely believed to be responsible for the deaths of the protestors. The acquittal announcement of Mubarak's sons and other aides lead to a scuffle between the protestors and the police.
According to the local media reports, Mubarak's supporters also got violent after hearing the court verdict and a group of them were arrested for discharging firearms into the air and smashing cars.
Mubarak, who was so far detained in the International Medical Centre, will be transferred to the Tora Prison.
It was a much-awaited trial in Egypt and there was a possibility of Mubarak being awarded a death sentence for failing to prevent the demonstrators' deaths. The verdict also comes at a politically crucial period -- just two weeks before the Egyptian presidential run-off that will see the Muslim Brotherhood pitting against former the Prime Minister and Mubarak's close aid Ahmed Shafiq. The Muslim Brotherhood was banned under Mubarak's regime.