Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The decision to refer Husni Mubarak and his two sons for trial on a variety of charges, including in the former President's case the killing of protesters, will no doubt please many of the young demonstrators that brought him down, but will sit less comfortably, I suspect, with the very-much-still-present remnants of the Establishment, not least the Army. While many Egyptians applauded his removal and would welcome recovery of any misappropriated funds, I suspect not all will welcome a public trial of an 83-year-old former President and onetime war hero. I worry that instead of uniting the country it will more deeply divide it, especially if (as the charges of murder would permit) they seek to pursue this as a capital case. There is already a backlash against the revolution among many of the old guard, and this may actually strengthen their hand.