Cairo: Lawyers for Hosni Mubarak said on Wednesday
the military was responsible for the deaths of protesters
during the revolt that ousted the Egyptian president last
year, insisting he had done nothing wrong.
The prosecution wants Mubarak to hang for the killing of
hundreds of protesters in the 18-day revolt that forced him to
quit on February 11 and hand over power to the Army.
On the second day of arguing his case, defence Farid
al-Deeb said Mubarak, his interior minister Habib al-Adly and
six top officers are not responsible for the bloodshed that
started January 28, three days after the revolt began.
Several protesters were killed in three days of unrest
that preceded the full-blown revolt on January 28 and dozens
injured, according to figures released at the time.
Deeb said the reasoning behind his argument was based on
the fact that Mubarak imposed a curfew on the afternoon of the
28th which, by law, made the Army responsible for security.
"Mubarak used his constitutional power and issued an order
imposing a curfew across Egypt and put the Army in charge of
security from 4:00 pm, January 28," Deeb told the court.
Deeb said the killing and wounding of protesters began
after 4:00 pm, local time, on that day, which places the
responsibility of the bloodshed squarely on the shoulders of
the armed forces.
"Therefore, it does not make sense that police ordered the
killing of protesters. The police did not have the
jurisdiction or authority to issue any orders since the
authority had been transferred to the head of the Army."
Whatever the authority, it was police and other elements
of the interior ministry who caused the deaths of the more
than 800 people who died and the injuries of the others,
activists and lawyers for families of the victims say.
Mubarak took the decision based on Law 183 of 1952, which
stipulates that once the armed forces are in control of
security, police are under their jurisdiction and the head of
the Army is in charge.
Deeb said Mubarak took that decision after he was informed
by Adly that police in Cairo`s Tahrir Square, the cradle of
the uprising, were being attacked by protesters.
Adly phoned Mubarak and told him "help me, I can`t see a
solution," Deeb said.
"Thus, any killing or injury took place either on orders
from the military commander ... or was the result of an
individual decision taken by officers and soldiers," added