UK & World News
Mubarak's Jailing Prompts Euphoria And Anger
Egyptians are torn between euphoria and anger after the conviction of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
For some, the knowledge that the 84-year-old will spend what remains of his life behind bars is enough.
But as the details of the verdicts emerge, many are now wondering whether justice really has been done.
Mubarak was accused of ordering the crackdown that led to the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the uprising against his 30-year rule.
But the judge found him guilty only of failing to prevent the slaughter - not of explicitly ordering his security forces to use live ammunition.
His former interior minister, Habib Al Adly, was convicted on the same grounds, while four other security chiefs were acquitted altogether.
So who gave the orders?
It is a question the trial failed to answer - and one which goes to the heart of the mistrust that has festered in Egypt since the revolution.
There is a sense that the old regime is still being protected.
The acquittal of Mubarak and his two sons over corruption charges has added to the feeling that somehow the case was an elaborate show put on to placate the masses.
The trial was the first of any Arab leader in an ordinary criminal court in his own country.
Some proclaimed grandly that it would set an example - and send a warning - to other leaders across the region that rulers who abuse their power can be held to account.
But it is hard to imagine the likes of President Bashar al Assad of Syria watching the trial on TV and deciding to change his ways.
There was punishment for Mubarak but the absence of any real accountability.
From the beginning of the trial, the focus was narrow - a few days in January and February 2011, when his security forces turned their guns on his people, killing more than 800 and wounding many more.
There was no mention of the almost three decades of repression that had come before.
The frustration over the outcome is likely to add to the unrest in the run-up to the final vote in Egypt's first free presidential election in a fortnight.
The polarising contest will pit the Muslim Brotherhood against Mubarak's former prime minister, a stark choice for many moderate Egyptians who are unnerved by the prospect of Islamist rule and fear a slide back to the ways of the old regime.
The slogans of the revolution were 'freedom' and 'justice', but in the on-going political turmoil of the transition, Egypt still seems to be waiting for both.
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