Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood slams Mubarak's testimony in jailbreak trial

Published 27.12.2018 14:37

Egypt's banned Muslim Brotherhood group has vociferously denied the veracity of testimony given by former President Hosni Mubarak regarding Egypt's popular uprising in 2011 that ended the latter's 30-year rule.

"What happened at the trial [i.e., Mubarak's testimony] was an attempt to discredit and tarnish the uprising's image," Brotherhood spokesman Talaat Fahmi told a foreign-based Egyptian television channel late Wednesday.

Earlier the same day, Mubarak had appeared in court to testify at the retrial of his successor, Mohamed Morsi, who faces charges of participating in a mass jailbreak in 2011.

Fahmi asked: "If [Mubarak] believed the January revolution was a [foreign] conspiracy, why did he accept to step down and leave the country when he still had presidential authority?"

He went on: "How can 800 people breach Egypt's 100-kilometer border [with Gaza], pass 10 security checkpoints, cross the Suez Canal, and finally arrive at Tahrir Square [the epicenter of the 2011 uprising], as Mubarak claims, without anyone trying to stop them?"

Wednesday's court session was the first time for Mubarak and Morsi to see one another since the former relinquished power in 2011 following 18 days of countrywide demonstrations.

Morsi was elected president in 2012 in first free elections in Egypt's history one year after Mubarak stepped down due to Jan. 25 popular uprising.

After a single year in power, however, Morsi was himself ousted in a military coup and slapped with a host of criminal charges, which he and his supporters insist are politically motivated.

Meanwhile, an Egyptian court has slapped a Muslim Brotherhood leader with two years behind bars for "insulting the judiciary", according to Egypt's official MENA news agency.

Mohamed al-Beltagy, a leading member of Egypt's banned Muslim Brotherhood group, was convicted Wednesday on charges of "insulting the judiciary" after he smiled "sarcastically" when judges stopped him from questioning former President Hosni Mubarak, who had been giving court testimony.

Under Egyptian law, Wednesday's court ruling can still be appealed before a higher court within 60 days.

Al-Beltagy managed to ask Mubarak three questions before the court stopped him from asking any more.

Al-Beltagy has been convicted in three separate criminal cases (all of which he says are politically motivated), for which he is currently serving a total of 60 years behind bars.

Following Morsi's ouster in mid-2013, the Egyptian authorities led by general-turned-President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi launched a relentless crackdown on political dissent, killing or imprisoning thousands of Morsi's supporters and members of his now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

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