Egypt court acquits seven Mubarak security commanders of murder

 An Egyptian supporter of former president Hosni Mubarak waves as the helicopter carrying the former leader leaves the Maadi military hospital en route to the court in Cairo for his trial on Nov 29, 2014. An Egyptian court on Saturday acqui
 An Egyptian supporter of former president Hosni Mubarak waves as the helicopter carrying the former leader leaves the Maadi military hospital en route to the court in Cairo for his trial on Nov 29, 2014. An Egyptian court on Saturday acquitted five top security commanders charged with murder alongside ousted president Hosni Mubarak over the deaths of protesters during a 2011 uprising. -- PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (AFP) - An Egyptian court on Saturday acquitted all seven security commanders charged with murder alongside ousted president Hosni Mubarak over the deaths of protesters during a 2011 uprising.

Judge Mahmud Kamel al-Rashidi said the commanders, including Mubarak’s former interior minister Habib al-Adly, were “innocent”.

It also dismissed a murder charge against Mubarak and acquitted him of a corruption charge, but he will remain in prison because he is serving a three-year sentence in a separate corruption case.

About 800 people were killed during the 18-day uprising that unseated Mubarak, in which protesters clashed with police across the country and torched police stations.

The 86-year-old Mubarak arrived in court wheeled into the caged dock on an upright stretcher, dressed in his trademark shades and wearing the blue clothes of a convict.

He was flown to the court in a Cairo suburb by helicopter from a military hospital.

Though acquitted, Mubarak will not be released because he is serving a three-year sentence in a separate corruption case, a judicial official said ahead of the verdict.

The court will also rule on corruption charges against his two sons Alaa and Gamal.

Mubarak was overthrown in February 2011 after an 18-day uprising, ending his three-decade rule and ushering in a period of turmoil that eventually led to the ouster of his Islamist successor Mohamed Mursi last year.

An appeals court overturned an initial life sentence for Mubarak in 2012 on a technicality.

The new verdict was initially scheduled for Sept 27, but chief judge Mahmud Kamel al-Rashidi postponed it, saying he had not finished writing the reasoning after a retrial that saw thousands of case files presented.