Egypt – Cleaning Up in the Aftermath of the Revolution
|Friday, April 15,2011 16:28|
Just as Egypt starts to return to calm, ousted Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled from power two months ago, defended himself before the nation on Sunday.
Mubarak and his family have been accused of corruption and are soon to face trial. Marking his unpopularity, many Egyptians are calling for his public execution in Tahrir Square .
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In a bid to gain favor, he promised to cooperate with prosecutors investigating the origins of his extensive wealth. Mubarak continues to live in denial, addressing the nation in a way that signifies a wounded parent addressing his ungrateful children. He also noted that his resignation was an act of patriotism.
The ousted president, who is hated by his fellow countrymen, spoke with a tone indicating that he has not changed since he was forced from his thirty-year rule. Calling the accusations 'slander', Mubarak defiantly asserted he would defend himself legally.
When the speech was over, Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud announced that Mubarak and his sons had been summoned for questioning about allegations that they converted public funds to their personal use.
The Arab world remains angry because of the corruption and oppression that characterized Mubarak's iron-fisted rule. Few give him credit for departing from office after violence broke out between protestors and state security officials in the January revolution, Libya, Syria and Yemen and many Egyptians find it frustrating that Mubarak and his family are heavily guarded at Sharm el-Sheikh.
Egypt’s top prosecutor has notified reported Sunday the United States and other foreign governments that the Mubarak family may have hidden hundreds of billions of dollars worth of cash, gold and other state-owned valuables. Mahmoud has documented that the Mubaraks used complex business schemes to divert the assets to offshore companies and personal accounts.
Mubarak’s speech came a day after the continued protests in Tahrir Square ended in violence between the military leadership and demonstrators.bloodiest crackdown by the military Hundreds of Egyptian troops fired into the air and attacked protesters in the center of Tahrir Square in the early hours of Saturday. They wanted to disperse a crowd of several hundred people who had defied the curfew after a large but peaceful protest on Friday. At least one person was killed. This confrontation came after weeks of increasing tensions between pro-democracy protestors and the military.
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However, since Mubarak resigned in response to the January 25 revolution, Ezz has been treated like a common criminal as he is accused of corruption View all Items in this Story.
Ezz insists he is innocent. a recent public letter from jail But Egyptians are now adamant that they cleanse the country of any remnant of the former regime and in this context Ezz has emerged as the most hated symbol of Mubarak's system View all Items in this Story. Ezz cornered the steel market in the Arab world and for most Egyptians this represents a pervasive crony capitalism that, before the revolution, was simply a fact of life. Since the revolution, anyone in Egypt who is wealthy is seen as corrupt and deserving punishment.
This phenomenon can be better understood when the affect of Mubarak's reign is realized; about 44 percent of Egyptians live in dire poverty, surviving on less than $2 a day. Just last year, Ezz was branded “the consumers’ first enemy. View all Items in this Story”
On the other hand, those who support Ezz say he worked very hard for his success. It is also claimed that his wealth increased dramatically after 2000 when he was appointed to parliament and this is another accusation against him.
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Mubarak and his cronies undoubtedly own great wealth but the legal challenge is to link their assets to specific acts of corruption.