Prosecution demands death penalty for Mubarak
Prosecutors in the trial of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have called for death by hanging, saying the former leader is personally responsible for every protester death during the country's recent revolution.
"The prosecution demands the maximum penalty against Mubarak, and the rest of the accused, which is death by hanging," said Mustafa Khater, one of a five-member prosecution team. On Wednesday another prosecutor, Mustafa Suleiman, called Mubarak, his security chief and top six police officers the “true instigators” of mass killings during last winter's uprisings.Mubarak is facing charges of ordering the killings of protesters during last January and February's demonstrations. The hearings have been postponed several times due to the 83-year-old defendant's severely deteriorating health.Critics say the case has been dragged out to draw public attention to the country's current situation. Radio host and author Stephen Lendman agreed, telling RT that the trial and the prosecution’s demands are “a distraction to divert public attention from what is going on the streets.”Lendman explained that since Mubarak was ousted, “things have gotten worse, not better, there are thousands of people in military prisons there being tortured; they are being killed. The violence on the streets exceeds anything that ever went on under Mubarak. Maybe they have gotten rid of one bad guy, but they went from the frying pan into the fire.” According to Lendman, the military is looking for a fall guy, “and Mubarak is a fall guy very conveniently because he is also a fall guy with Washington.”Lendman maintains that the United States has a big hand in Mubarak's case, and in Egyptian events in general. “Mubarak lost favor with Washington years ago. He supported Washington mostly, but he did not support Washington in all its policies. A big one he opposed was the war in Iraq in 2003. America wanted him removed. The street protests on the one hand are very legitimate and very real … but behind the scenes Washington manipulated them. Washington manipulated the entire process going on in the region.”