Egypt’s top appeals court on Thursday issued a final verdict, clearing former president Hosni Mubarak of complicity in the killings of protesters in the 2011 uprising that ended his rule.
The verdict was issued by the Court of Cassation, putting an end to a tortuous legal process that started over five years ago.
Mubarak’s loyalists erupted in cheers as chief judge Ahmed Abdel-Qawi delivered the ruling.
Mubarak, 88, appeared at the session held at a makeshift courtroom in the Police Academy on the outskirts of Cairo.
His appearance was the first since the retrial started in November 2015.
However, he pleaded not guilty.
“It did not happen,’’ he said when the chief judge questioned him on charges that he was involved in killing hundreds of protesters during the 2011 revolution that forced him out of power.
The court had previously adjourned the retrial four times in order to allow time for authorities to provide a secure venue away from its premises in central Cairo.
Mubarak has mostly lived at an army hospital since his 2011 ousting.
It was not immediately clear if he will leave the hospital in southern Cairo where he is being treated for unspecified health problems.
Mubarak was the first Egyptian ruler to be tried.
When the trial originally started in mid-2011, Egyptian media dubbed it the “case of the century” amid massive public attention.
However, later, Egyptians gradually lost interest in the case, distracted by the post-Mubarak unrest that hit the country’s economy hard.
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