Mubarak faces death, prison or freedom
About 840 died, more than 6,000 others wounded in Egyptian uprising
Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak, was sentenced to life imprisonment Saturday in Cairo for his role in the killings of pro-democracy protesters last year, after a 10-month trial.
About 5,000 Egyptian police were predicted to be on hand for the verdict, which could send angry crowds into Cairo's streets in a violent replay of the popular revolution that led to Mubarak's downfall.
Mubarak was charged with corruption, misappropriation of funds and issuing orders to kill demonstrators calling for his ouster. About 840 people died and more than 6,000 others were wounded in the Egyptian uprising, according to Amnesty International.
Verdicts are also expected against Mubarak's two sons, former Interior Minister Habib El Adly and a handful of other regime officials. El Adly is also accused of ordering the killing of protesters, while Mubarak's sons -- Gamal and Alaa -- are charged with corruption and using their father's political power for profit.
El Adly was convicted in May of corruption and money laundering, and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Mubarak and his sons arrived Saturday morning at the Cairo Police Academy, where the trial is being held, under tight security. Police in riot gear lined up behind a barricade separating them from demonstrators.
As part of the security plan, access to the court will be restricted to those with special passes, assistant Justice Minister Mohamed Manea told state-run Egypt State Information Service.
"It includes unprecedented precautionary measures to ensure smooth proceedings during the trial," Manea said.
The anticipated verdict follows Friday's expiration of a notorious emergency law that ended 31 years of sweeping police powers. And it comes ahead of a polarizing mid-June runoff in the presidential election that pits the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi against the more secularist Ahmed Shafiq, a former official in Mubarak's regime.
Mubarak became president in October 1981, ruling Egypt with an iron hand as a staunch ally of the United States. But all those years in power were shattered by 18 days of uprising that ended on February 11, 2011, when Mubarak was forced to step down.
During the trial, prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman said Mubarak failed to "carry out his duty to stop the bloodshed and the acts of violence against the Egyptian people."
Mubarak has denied the charges.
When the trial opened, it was a spectacle few Egyptians thought they would ever see. Images broadcast around the world showed the 84-year-old former leader wheeled in to the court on a hospital gurney and locked in a defendant's cage.
The trial was marked by chaos inside and outside the heavily guarded courtroom, with confrontations between prosecutors and defense attorneys, and clashes between protesters and police.
Magdi Fouda is one such loyalist; he leads a group of Mubarak supporters.
Fouda collected 750,000 signatures on a petition calling for Mubarak's pardon. Others have set up a Facebook page called "Sorry, Mr President," which boasts more than 240,000 "likes."
"We believe President Mubarak has been terribly mistreated recently," Fouda said. "We will stand faithfully by him, to honor him for his 62 years of service to Egypt.
Lawyer Khalid Abu Bakr, who attended every session of the trial, represents some of the families of those killed in the uprising.
On the eve of the verdict, Bakr said the ailing Mubarak maintained a certain regal disdain for the proceedings.
Never did he show regret, Bakr said.
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