FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2011 file photo, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sits during his meeting with Emirates foreign minister, not pictured, at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's ousted President Hosni Mubarak would face the death penalty if convicted of ordering the shooting of protesters during the uprisings that brought him down, the country's new justice minister said Saturday, April 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File) (Associated Press)

Mubarak will apologize to the Egyptian people

The ousted leader will issue a formal, if unconvincing, apology on-air and is expected to hand over his assets


Natasha Lennard
May 17, 2011 8:18PM (UTC)

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will issue an apology to the Egyptian people on-air in a bid for amnesty.

The ousted leader and his wife are currently under arrest in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh after both of them reportedly suffered heart attacks. According to reports from the Egyptian independent newspaper al-Shourok, citing unnamed Egyptian officials, the apology speech is currently being prepared and will be aired on several Egyptian and Arab channels.

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Al-Arabiya News notes that Mubarak's mea culpa will, nonetheless, be mitigated. He will insinuate that others in his administration should carry blame and will stress his own successes in the past. The news agency commented:

However transparent Mr. Mubarak’s strategy might be, it could offer Egypt’s current military rulers a way out from prosecuting their ailing former boss. In any case, it is considered unlikely that the courts would condemn Mr. Mubarak to death—as some revolutionaries have demanded—or even incarcerate him. Such moves would conceivably turn world opinion against Egypt at a time when the beleaguered nation has many economic and social problems to tackle.

Mubarak is also expected to hand over most of his assets to the state in return for a pardon, the United Press International reported. His wife, Suzanne, gave up assets worth an estimated $3 million on Monday. (According to AFP, "a judicial source" said that the former Egyptian first lady will be released "shortly," having relinquished her assets.)

Mubarak's apology is set to be a quintessential official mea culpa; it will not ingratiate the former leader in the eyes of the Egyptians who fought for his ouster but will tick a box for the country's current administration. 


Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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