Mubarak: I didn’t order killing of protesters

Medics and army personnel escort former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, 86, from a helicopter ambulance after landing at the Maadi Military Hospital following a hearing in his retrial in Cairo, Wednesday.

Medics and army personnel escort former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, 86, from a helicopter ambulance after landing at the Maadi Military Hospital following a hearing in his retrial in Cairo, Wednesday.

CAIRO — Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday offered a spirited defense of his handling of the 2011 uprising against his rule, saying that he never ordered the killing of demonstrators.

Appearing in a court, Mubrak added that he has trust in the country’s judicial system.

“Hosni Mubarak, who is before you today, did not order at all the killing of protesters or the shedding of the blood of Egyptians,” Reuters quoted Mubarak as telling the court room, reading from a prepared statement. “And I did not issue an order to cause chaos and I did not issue an order to create a security vacuum.”

Many Egyptians who lived through three decades of autocracy and crony capitalism under Mubarak considered it a victory to see him and his allies behind bars.

In his first address to the court, Mubarak, after replacing his trademark shades with reading glasses, read out a long speech defending his record, spanning his career as a military officer to his final days in power in February 2011.

“This may be my last speech,” he told the court. “As my life approaches its end, thank God I have a good conscience, and I am satisfied I spent it in defense of Egypt.”

Mubarak pled innocent and defended himself, saying he spent 62 years ‘in [the] service of Egypt.”

His speech touched on what he said were the achievements of his three-decade rule. He said he “achieved the highest economic growth in Egypt’s history.”

He also defended himself against separate corruption charges he is facing, along with his two sons, on which the court will also rule on Sept. 27.

Once reviled along with his police forces, whose abuses helped fuel the 2011 uprising, Mubarak’s era is now recalled nostalgically by many after four years of unrest since his overthrow.

Mubarak’s overthrow has increasingly since been portrayed by government officials and domestic media as a conspiracy involving foreign powers and militants.

“It was a conspiracy,” insisted Mubarak’s former interior minister Habib Al-Adly in court on Wednesday, also in a speech defending himself against the murder charges.

 
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