Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the country will never return to the corrupt ways of the past, after a court dismissed murder charges against former leader Hosni Mubarak.
“The new Egypt, which emerged from the January 25 (2011) and June 30 (2013) revolutions, is on a path to establish a modern democratic state based on justice, freedom, equality and a renunciation of corruption,” Sisi said in a statement released late Sunday and quoted by AFP.
Sisi was referring to the uprising which toppled president Mubarak in 2011 and the military’s overthrow of his Islamist successor, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, following mass protests two years later.
He said that Egypt is on a “path to the future and can never go back to the past.”
A Cairo court on Saturday dropped murder charges against Mubarak over the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended three decades of his autocratic rule.
Seven of his security commanders, including ex-interior minister Habib al-Adly, were also acquitted over the deaths.
Corruption charges against Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal were likewise dropped.
The ruling enraged Mubarak’s opponents, with about 1,000 converging on a central Cairo square to denounce the government. One person was killed in ensuing clashes.
Sisi, who was Mubarak’s intelligence chief, won a landslide victory in a May presidential election after crushing Islamist and secularist opponents.
As army chief he removed Morsi in July 2013.
Since Morsi’s ouster, a crackdown on his supporters has left at least 1,400 dead and seen more than 15,000 people imprisoned. The Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organization.
On Monday, leftist leaders condemned Saturday’s verdict, on which Sisi said he could not comment because it was a judicial matter.
It was a “black day in Egypt’s history,” said Hamdeen Sabbahi, who lost the May presidential election to Sisi.
“The president must decide who he is siding with at this critical moment,” Sabbahi told a press conference, according to AFP.
“Is he with the people, the revolution and its demands, or is he with those in the media calling for the return of Mubarak and his regime?”