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Mubarak court ruling draws mixed reactions

Egyptians celebrated outside a court that sentenced deposed President Hosni Mubarak to life in prison on Saturday for complicity in killing protesters, but people inside the court who had wanted a death sentence scuffled with security guards.

world Updated: Jun 02, 2012 18:11 IST

Fire and fury marked the sentencing of Arab world's first toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak with people scuffling in the court premises as soon as the judgement was pronounced.

Cairo Criminal Court had sentenced Hosni Mubarak and his Interior Minister Habib el-Adli to life in prison over charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the January 25 revolution.

Families of those killed in uprisings throughout Egypt's governorates were outraged at the court's decision, which also acquitted all Adli's cronies.

In Suez governorate, many of the victim's families were disappointed with the court ruling, saying that it acquitted the aides of el-Adli, who killed their sons.

"We will not give up the blood of martyrs," said Tamer Radwan, a brother of one of Suez victims.

"We reject this ruling which acquitted Gamal and Alaa Mubarak," said Gamal el-Wardani, the father of one of the victims, who added that it was important to issue a court ruling against Mubarak's sons.

Calls to revive the revolution were once again heard in Tahrir Square.

"Revenge...Revenge... They shot dead our children," dozens of protesters in Tahrir Square chanted displeased with the ruling, while others closed side streets leading to the square.

The protesters went on a march toward Talaat Harb Square demanding that the regime be purged. Families of a number of victims announced that they were heading to Tahrir Square after the ruling failed to appease their anguish.

As the news of the sentence came through to hundreds of protesters and relatives of victims outside the court compound, jubilation erupted with dozens of anti-Mubarak protesters jumping up and down and waving Egyptian flags and their fists in the air.

Scuffles then broke out between Mubarak supporters and opponents inside and outside the courtroom after the verdict was read.

Riot police also clashed with protesters.

According to reports, rock throwing and fist fights left at least 20 people injured.

First Published: Jun 02, 2012 14:26 IST