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article imageOp-Ed: For Hosni Mubarak, a time for reckoning

By Yukio Strachan     Jan 10, 2012 in World
"Be careful what you wish for," the saying goes. When prosecutors ordered the death penalty for former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak for complicity in killing over 800 protesters, would he find out it was a prediction he made long ago?
A former dictator stands shock still behind a podium, behind a screen, blind from the swelling crowd. His crisp white shirt, perfectly creased navy blue suit, and navy blue tie look incredibly out of place next to the man in the audience with blood streaking face, contained within a wall of army tanks, soldiers cradling rifles in their arms while women cradle children in their arms. But he can't see them. Doesn't need to. He begins.
“I am telling you that the blood of the martyrs and the injured will not go in vain,” he says. “And I want to affirm: I will not hesitate in harshly punishing those responsible. I will hold those in charge who have violated the rights of our youth with the harshest punishment stipulated by law.” Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak delivered those words on Feb. 10 2012.
But on Jan 5, 2012, those words would be delivered back to him.
''The law punishes premeditated murder with execution," prosecutor Mustafa Khater told the packed Cairo courtroom. "The prosecution demands the maximum penalty against Mubarak, which is death by hanging.''
Mr. Mubarak, listen's from the cage on a stretcher; perhaps not realizing that the words he hears from the prosecutor, are really his own. I will hold those in charge with the harshest punishment stipulated by law.
“We feel the spirits of the martyrs flying over this hall of sacred justice, and those who lost their sight by the bullets of the defendants are stumbling around it to reach the judge and demand fair retribution from those who attacked them,” Chief prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman said.
“The souls of the dead, martyrs, are asking where is the judge on earth, the just judge, who will listen to our complaints, who will punish the oppressors?" Mr. Suleiman asked. "Punishing the defendants will give each his right.”
“The prosecution and Egyptian society expect the truth, that all are equal before the law, and that Egyptian blood is no longer cheap.”
Cheers and applause erupt both inside and outside the courtroom. Lawyers representing the slain and injured protesters, who previously felt that the prosecutions' heart wasn't in it, changed their mind.
It was as if the lawyers heard the voices of the martyrs, the voices of their blood, cry out in the voices of those standing in for them. “Death, death ... God is greatest,” the lawyers cheer.
Meanwhile, outside the families of the martyrs' and injured raise banners of their loved ones. “The people demand the execution of Mubarak,” some shout. Still others, cheer with posters high in the air showing the ex-president behind a noose. In the midst of the chanting and cheering in the crowd a man, silent, holds up a a photo of his dead young son. Remember.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Hosni Mubarak, mubarak trial, Death penalty, Prosecutors, Egypt
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