This analysis was published in The Kuwait Times on 26/05/2011
The trial of ex-president Hosni Mubarak will pose several challenges to Egypt's court system, chiefly how to assure a skeptical public that the ousted dictator will be judged impartially, legal experts say. The formal charges of murder and graft following Mubarak's initial detention in April came amid the threat of mass protests which the ruling military-seen as rather out of its depth-wants to avoid. That, according to human rights lawyer Gamal Eid, is reason to fear that Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades, may still manage to escape justice if pressure is not kept on the military. "The problem is that justice has not moved according to the law, but because of popular pressure," he said. "This increases suspicion that if people are not alert, there will be no justice.
Mahmud al-Khodeiry, the former deputy head of the appeal court and a judicial reformer, said Mubarak was healthy enough to stand trial, even if he had stay in hospital between hearings. "Mubarak's health shouldn't prevent him from being tried. He could go from the hospital to court appearances," he said. The date for the trial of Mubarak and his sons, and its location, have not yet been set. The official MENA news agency reported it will be held in a Cairo district criminal court, but the court could be moved to Sharm el-Sheikh.