Calling All the Statesmen: The (not) Mubarak Trial

Lama Abu-Odeh, Georgetown University Law Center


In this essay I discuss the decision by the Criminal Court of Cairo to exonerate ex-Minister of Interior of the Mubarak regime and his five assistanst from the charge of complicity to kill demonstrators during the days of January 25-31, 2011, the events that led to the fall of the Mubarak regime. Hundreds of people died those few days late January 2011 and taking those responsible for their death to trial, widely believed by the demonstrators to be officers of the police, was one of the achievements of the revolution. Mubarak was party to the case but was dropped on procedural grounds by the court.

Declaring defendants innocent dealt the revolutioanries a heavy blow as it declared their "labor" of revolution, represented by their martyr, to be worthless.

In this essay, I argue that the judge was not only adjudicating the rights and wrongs of the case but also trying to use the case to "re-state" the broken state of Egypt. In other words, to establish a new grounding for a post-revolutionary Egypt in which its old statesmen can be rehabilitated.