Egyptians 'seek new uprising'
Egyptian pro-democracy campaigners called for a new uprising today, saying justice was not served by the trial of Hosni Mubarak and others blamed for the killing of protesters during the street revolt that ended his three-decade rule.
In the first judicial reckoning of a leader toppled in last year's Arab spring uprisings, Mubarak was handed a life prison sentence. His sons were found innocent of corruption charges and senior policemen were acquitted.
Thousands took to the streets for protests that went on through the night in Cairo's Tahrir Square and in other cities, adding to political tension building since Mubarak's last prime minister made it through to a presidential election run-off.
Many took the verdicts as proof the Mubarak clan still holds sway as Egypt prepares for the vote on June 16th and 17th, billed as the final stage of an army-led transition to democracy."This was not a fair verdict and there is mass rejection of the judge's ruling," said one protester, Amr Magdy.
"Tahrir will fill up again with protesters. In Egypt the only way you can get any justice is by protesting because all the institutions are still controlled by Mubarak figures."
The general prosecutor lodged an appeal today against the acquittal of six senior police officials charged with killing protesters, and banned them from travelling, the prosecutor's assistant said.
Young liberal and left-wing revolutionaries who led last year's uprising were dismayed when their own
candidates lost the first round of the presidential election last month.The run-off will pit former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, who holds Mubarak as a role model, against the candidate of the socially conservative Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Mursi.
Mr Shafiq has taken a tough stance on law and order, appealing to many Egyptians tired of protests, political chaos and insecurity that have damaged the economy. Critics say he also has the backing of the powerful army."The judiciary issued its ruling based on the documents it had and we must accept it," said lawyer Mohamed Abdel A'al, who opposes more street protests.
"Why do they want to suspend the election? Do they want further turmoil?"
Suspicion is widespread that the military, led by Mubarak's old defence minister, will still wield heavy influence whoever becomes the next president. Egypt has been led by army officers since 1952. Mr Shafiq is a former air force commander.
About a thousand protesters were gathered today in Tahrir Square - focal point of the January 2011 revolt that brought down Mubarak - vowing to stay until there was justice for those killed in the uprising.
Dozens of young men ransacked Mr Shafiq's campaign office in Fayoum south of Cairo overnight, the second such attack in recent days, state news website al-Ahram reported.
Shafiq campaigners in Cairo confirmed the attack."Do they think that by burning Mr Shafiq's headquarters, they will burn Shafiq? Forget it," Mr Shafiq told reporters today, warning that a vote for Mr Mursi is a vote for the unknown.