clipped from article: Egyptian law authorizes the death penalty for the deliberate murder of a single victim, one of the prosecutors, Mostafa Khater, told the court. So what, he asked, is the appropriate sentence for killing hundreds? “There is life for you in the law of retribution, o men of understanding,” he said, quoting the Koran.
The prosecutors laid out their closing arguments in the historic trial of Egypt’s disgraced head of state as Egypt’s military rulers and their activist opponents braced for mass demonstrations on the Jan. 25 anniversary of the protests that forced him out. The final defense arguments are expected as early as next week, so the panel of judges could render a verdict before the anniversary.
The final decision could help determine whether that date is a day of anger or celebration. But the deliberations over a man who ruled with an iron fist for nearly three decades are also riveting the region. Tunisia seeks the extradition of its former president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, now in Saudi Arabia, the first of the Arab leaders forced from power by a popular uprising. Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s son and heir apparent, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, awaits trial in Libya.
President Bashar al-Assad in Syria is directing far greater violence against the protesters hoping to end his rule, with the killing of an estimated 5,000 demonstrators in the past 10 months. And President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen has taken the first step toward leaving power amid charges that he, too, authorized his military to attack demonstrators who demanded his exit.
In Cairo, the prosecutors have predicated their case against Mr. Mubarak on the principle that he was responsible for the deaths by virtue of his official position — that, like the other Arab leaders, he either knew or should have known about the killings by his own security forces in the central squares of Egyptian cities.
“He is responsible for what happened and must bear the legal and political responsibility for what happened,” said the lead prosecutor, Mustafa Suleiman, news agencies reported. “It is irrational and illogical to assume that he did not know that protesters were being targeted.” [read more at link]