Middle East

Mixed reactions as Mubarak case dropped

Pro-Mubarak demonstrator Image copyright Getty Images

There were mixed reactions in the Egyptian media after a court in Cairo dropped murder charges against former President Hosni Mubarak and seven of his senior police officials.

Channels supportive of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and Mubarak supporters on social media celebrated the ruling.

Privately-owned Sada al-Balad TV carried a report on Mubarak's biography, focusing on his achievements during his military career and 30 years in office.

The channel aired live interviews with the former security officials who were on trial. One of them, Adli Fayid, praised the court for "enforcing justice" and thanked the "great Egyptian judiciary". Another, Usama al-Marasi, said he received the ruling with "great joy".

Both private al-Mihwar TV and ON TV Live showed footage of Mubarak supporters celebrating the ruling outside the court.

Mubarak's supporters on social media also congratulated him. "I am Sorry Mr President," a Facebook page, which has more than 1.6m likes, said: "He prayed to God to make him victorious after he was facing injustice."

State-run Mena news agency reported mixed scenes outside the court: While Mubarak's supporters celebrated the ruling and "raised flags joyfully", the relatives of those killed during the protests were in a "complete shock".

Who killed protesters?

After the ruling, various media outlets wondered who was to blame for the protesters' deaths, if it was not Mubarak or his security chiefs. While the pro-Sisi channels tried to blame the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), channels supportive of the Islamist group still blamed Mubarak for the killings.

Interviewed in the studio of state Channel 1 TV, legal expert Ali Hasan wondered "who killed protesters in Tahrir Square" and hinted that the Muslim Brotherhood was involved.

In a live interview with Sada al-Balad TV, Umar al-Faramawi, one of the police officials who stood trial, blamed "infiltrators among the protesters" for carrying out the killings.

On the other hand, pro-Muslim Brotherhood media blamed Mubarak and his senior officials over the killing of demonstrators during the 25 January protests.

"Who killed the demonstrators of the 25 January revolution?" asked a presenter on pro-MB Mikamilin TV. Answering the question, pro-Morsi judge Muhammad Awad said: "It was Mubarak and his gang."

Image copyright Getty Images

Opposition and MB activists described the entire trial as a "farce". They posted pictures on social media showing Mubarak laughing, as a sarcastic way of showing their rejection of the ruling.

"Acquittal of the killers of the January revolutionaries," read a news caption on Mikammilin TV.

Describing the entire trial as a "farce", Justice Muhammad Awad told Mikammilin TV that there were signs that charges against Mubarak would be dropped because none of the police officers facing similar charges had been convicted.

"Most of Egyptian judges will go to hell," said Mikammilin TV presenter as he criticised the judge for dropping charges against Mubarak and other defendants.

"Down with the rule of al-Sisi-Mubarak," read a wall post on the Facebook page of the 6 April Youth Movement, a pro-opposition activist group.

In a tweet, prominent liberal opposition figure Ayman Nur urged "January partners" to unite and offered "condolences to the martyrs' families and January revolutionaries".

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.