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Egypt: As Mubarak Retrial Begins, Judge Recuses Self

by
Juan Cole

Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, waves from behind his son, Alaa, during the opening session of Mubarak's retrial in Cairo on Saturday. (AFP/Getty Images)

Former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak was brought to a courtroom on Saturday for the beginning of his retrial on charges of ordering hundreds of peaceful demonstrators killed in January and February 2011 during the revolution against him.

The trial was abruptly postponed, however, when Judge Mustafa Hasan Abdullah recused himself. He had been involved in previous trials of Mubarak-era officials and is viewed with suspicion by much of the public as overly tied to the old regime.

Only small crowds had gathered outside the courtroom, and there seems to be little interest any longer in Mubarak, as Egypt has moved on to other problems– a faltering economy, the rise of the Religious Right, and continued youth and worker activism. Egyptians used to be arrested for criticizing Mubarak, and were sometimes tortured or given long jail sentences. Now, he is a minor side show.

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