Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison on Saturday for failing to stop the killing of protesters during the uprising that ousted him from power last year. The former president and his sons were acquitted of corruption in a mixed verdict that swiftly provoked a new wave of anger on Egypt’s streets.
By dusk, thousands filled Cairo’s central Tahrir Square, the heart of last year’s uprising, in a demonstration called by revolutionary groups and the powerful Muslim Brotherhood to vent anger over the verdicts.
After the sentencing, the 84-year-old Mubarak suffered a “health crisis’’ on a helicopter flight to a Cairo prison hospital, according to security officials. One state media report said it was a heart attack, but that could not be immediately confirmed.
The officials said Mubarak cried in protest and resisted leaving the helicopter that took him to a prison hospital for the first time since he was detained in April 2011. They said the former leader insisted he be flown to the military hospital on the outskirts of Cairo, where he was held during the trial. Mubarak finally left the chopper and moved to the Torah prison hospital, more than two hours after the helicopter landed there.
Earlier, Mubarak sat stone-faced and frowning in the courtroom’s metal defendants’ cage while Judge Ahmed Rifaat read out the conviction and sentence against him. He showed no emotion, his eyes concealed by dark sunglasses. His sons, Gamal and Alaa, looked nervous but also did not react to either their father’s conviction or their own acquittals.