Mubarak verdict: Protests continue to sweep Egypt | world | Hindustan Times
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Mubarak verdict: Protests continue to sweep Egypt

world Updated: Jun 03, 2012 23:51 IST

Hundreds of Egyptians occupied Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday after a night of rage against what they feel were lenient sentences handed down to ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak and his security chiefs.

A judge sentenced Mubarak, 84, and his interior minister Habib al-Adly to life in prison on Saturday for involvement in the killing of hundreds of protesters during the uprising that ousted them from power last year.

Egypt's top prosecutor is appealing the verdicts, acquitting Hosni Mubarak and his two sons on corruption charges and clearing senior police officers of complicity in killing protesters, an official said on Sunday.

Mubarak, the only autocrat toppled in the Arab Spring to be put in the dock, could have been sent to the gallows as demanded by the prosecution.

Six police chiefs were acquitted, and Mubarak's sons Alaa and Gamal had corruption charges against them dropped on a technicality, prompting protesters to take to the streets in Cairo, Alexandria and other Egyptian cities.

Around 20,000 people took to Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square on Saturday after the verdicts were issued.

Some of the demonstrators slept in tents or out in the open overnight on the vast intersection, epicentre of the 18-day revolt that forced Mubarak to resign on February 11 last year.

"We intend to stay today and possibly tomorrow. We expect a lot more people to come during the day," said Omar Abdelkader, a young protester in Tahrir on Sunday.

"Many people had the feeling while listening to the verdict that we were back in the days of the old regime," said student Feda Essam, another protester in the square. The demonstrators erected a memorial depicting a miniature cemetery made of gravestones and sand in tribute to the "martyrs" of the revolution.

"Martyrs, we will not abandon you to the conspiracies of the old regime. In the name of your blood, there will be a new revolution," said a banner.