Toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for complicity in the murder of hundreds of anti-government protesters, ending a raucous trial that impassioned the Arab world and shook autocratic regimes across the region.
The verdict stunned this emotionally battered nation and spurred cheers from cities to distant villages. Mubarak and Habib Adli, his former interior minister, who was also sentenced to life, listened to their fates from behind the mesh of a defendants’ cage. Sitting on a stretcher, Mubarak, dressed in a striped shirt and beige jacket, was stone-faced behind dark sunglasses.
The court found no evidence that Mubarak ordered the killings, but blamed him for not using his power to stop days of bloodshed.
Before reading the verdict, presiding Judge Ahmed Refaat offered a searing indictment of Mubarak’s 30-year regime, calling it “without a conscience and with a cold heart.” He said Mubarak ruled by oppression, kept his people in poverty and allowed Egypt, once a “beacon” of the world, to tumble into “one of the most deteriorated, backward countries.”