Egypt’s Mubarak Makes First Public Statement Since Arrest During Court Hearing

Hosni Mubarak, former president of Egypt, made his first public statement since his ouster in a Cairo court during a hearing on charges alleging that he had ordered the killing of protesters demonstrating against his rule. He is accused of overseeing the killing of hundreds of Egyptians by security forces during the protests. A 2012 conviction on the charges resulted in a life sentence, but the conviction was later overturned on appeal.

During his 30-year rule as president, Mr. Mubarak was often criticized by the world press for the brutality and corruption of his regime. After his removal from office, Egypt erupted in nearly constant turmoil for the following three years and Egypt has had multiple presidents. Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was elected to fill the position in Egypt’s first free election. Military-backed Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took over the presidency just 12 months later after Morsi himself was ousted. Mr. Mubarak’s era is now seen as an era of stability by some Egyptians.

During the hearing, Mubarak read a prepared statement that described himself as a servant of the people and mentioned his 62-year career of service, including his military service during the 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel. He also commented on his opposition to Israel and his support for the Palestinians. Mr. Mubarak currently lives in a military hospital under police custody and is only brought out to attend court hearings. In addition to the previous conviction and life sentence, he has received a three-year sentence on embezzlement charges in another case.

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