'Mubarak verdict to be political'

As Egyptians are bracing to learn the fate of their toppled leader Hosni Mubarak, his verdict is going to be mostly political rather than justice-related, believes Ramzy Baroud, editor at PalestineChronicle.com.

It will be political in the sense that there are two extreme possible outcomes – one is that he will be executed; another is that he will be set free. “This is going to increase the tension and existing emotional divide in Egypt,” Baroud told RT.

This would have not been an issue if it were not for the fact that presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq, who was the prime minister under Mubarak, has become a powerful figure in Egyptian politics, Baroud explains.

That is going to increase the ire of his supporters if the verdict is seen as too extreme,” he says.

On the other hand if it is not harsh enough and Mubarak is “off the hook” there are chances that the revolution will see even more violence. The people would conclude that the ruling military council and the remnants of the old regime are in fact finding a way to circumvent the revolution and find ways to bring back the old guard into the fore, he stresses. “And I don’t think Egyptians are going to be very happy about it.”

The journalist warns that there could be a situation where the military council will come at the end of the day and say “we’ve given you the chance and we just have to get the country back together.”

He believes the remnants of the old regime want to “spoil the party” so that Egyptians do not actually sense any real change and finally prefer security over revolutionary changes that have not materialized in any way.

Egypt has indeed changed since the revolution; the political landscape has opened up, Baroud admits. “But what we haven’t seen is that opening up hasn’t yet translated to meaningful things on the ground.”