Bloggers React to Mubarak's Trial
|August 15, 2011|
The big news coming from the trial was not the judge’s decision - postponing the trial until September 5 in order to give lawyers on both sides time to review the documents that were submitted - but that TV cameras were ordered out of the courtroom until the conclusion of the case.
The decision was made by presiding judge Ahmed Refaat, who deemed the courtroom unmanageable. Over 150 lawyers were in attendance, most of whom are representing the 850 protesters who were killed during the uprising. If found guilty of the most serious charge, ordering police to fire on the demonstrators, Mubarak could face the death penalty.
The decision to stop televising the trial enraged thousands of Egyptians who protested with the goal of keeping elected officials responsible for their actions. Tweeted one user, “I can't believe TV cameras are no longer allowed at #MubarakTrial. How can Egyptians NOT be given the right to see him be prosecuted?”
Despite the disappointment of many Egyptians and observers, not all thought that Refaat made the wrong decision.
Publicizing the trial caused many attention-seeking lawyers and witnesses. Some even predict that certain lawyers will no longer attend the trial. Emphasizing that the theatricalism of the trial thus far, one user tweeted, “Mubarak trial is no longer broadcasted on regular TV channels. Okay, on Showtime or Mubarak HD?” Another wrote:
@lilianwagdy Lilian Wagdy لوليان
وقف بث محاكمة مبارك اعتقد انه قرار طبيعي لان الجلسة الجاية جلسة الشهود وإفادات الشهود مينفعش تتذاع علشان متأثرش على شهود آخرين #MubarakTrial
I think that stopping to broadcast the trial is normal because the next session is the one in which witnesses give testimony, and these are not open to the public, so the next session would not be broadcast anyway
With tensions flaring around the country, Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey expressed something entirely different - indifference:
“Did you watch the Mubarak trial? ... It will only take 3 years, and if Mubarak isn’t dead by then, he will face house-arrest until he dies and will never see the inside of a jail cell... Personally, after the first day, I am done with it. What will happen next will be a legal fiasco and a political circus. Not interested in either.”