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Sisi sees new future for Egypt after Mubarak verdict

By AFP - Dec 01,2014 - Last updated at Dec 01,2014

CAIRO — President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi said Egypt will never return to the corrupt ways of the past, after a court dismissed murder charges against former leader Hosni Mubarak.

"The new Egypt, which emerged from the January 25 [2011] and June 30 [2013] revolutions, is on a path to establish a modern democratic state based on justice, freedom, equality and a renunciation of corruption," he said in a statement late Sunday.

Sisi was referring to the uprising which toppled president Mubarak in 2011 and the military's overthrow of his Islamist successor, Mohamed Morsi, following mass protests two years later.

"It is on an aspirational path to the future and can never go back to the past," said Sisi.

A Cairo court on Saturday dropped murder charges against Mubarak over the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended three decades of his autocratic rule.

Seven of his security commanders, including feared ex-interior minister Habib Al Adly, were also acquitted over the deaths.

Corruption charges against Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal were likewise dropped.

Sisi said he had instructed Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab to review the provisions for compensation for the families of "martyrs and those wounded in the revolution".

During the 2011 uprising, hundreds of thousands of people protested daily, demanding Mubarak step down. After he resigned they continued to stage demonstrations, insisting he face trial.

Relatives of those killed voiced dismay at Saturday's verdict.

More than 1,000 people demonstrating against the verdict at an entrance to Cairo's Tahrir Square, hub of the anti-Mubarak revolt, were dispersed by police firing tear gas.

Dozens of people were briefly detained.

Sisi, who was Mubarak's intelligence chief, won a landslide victory in a May presidential election after crushing Islamist and secularist opponents.

As army chief he removed Morsi in July 2013.

Since Morsi's ouster, a crackdown on his supporters has left at least 1,400 dead and seen more than 15,000 people imprisoned.

Dozens have also been sentenced to death after speedy mass trials.

On Monday, leftist leaders condemned Saturday's verdict, on which Sisi said he could not comment because it was a judicial matter.

It was a "black day in Egypt's history", said Hamdeen Sabbahi, who lost the May presidential election to Sisi.

"The president must decide who he is siding with at this critical moment," Sabbahi told a press conference.

"Is he with the people, the revolution and its demands, or is he with those in the media calling for the return of Mubarak and his regime?"

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