Egypt’s stumbling revolution took a dramatic new turn on Saturday after Hosni Mubarak, the country's all-powerful dictator for 30 years, was sentenced to life imprisonment for enabling the massacre of protesters who rose up against his rule last year.
Mubarak, 84, is the first Arab leader to be tried by his own people since the wave of uprising began in Tunisia in late 2010.
Also given a life term for the killings was the autocrat’s former interior minister Habib al-Adly. Six former police commanders were acquitted. Corruption charges against Mubarak’s sons, Alaa and Gamal, were dropped.
Protests erupted across Cairo soon after the verdict was delivered, with many demanding death sentence for Mubarak.
Propped up on a hospital stretcher and wearing sunglasses, Mubarak heard the verdict stony-faced. But once at Tora prison on Cairo’s outskirts, a tearful Mubarak refused to leave the aircraft, and security officials said he “suffered from a health crisis” before they finally convinced him to go in. A senior lawyer for Mubarak said the strongman will appeal against the sentence.