Tens of thousands of furious Egyptians, stunned that Hosni Mubarak's two sons and top police commanders got off scot-free in the recent court decision, thronged streets across the country yesterday in protests that threatened the nation's fragile calm. Though Mubarak and his former security chief were sentenced to life in prison, his six police chiefs accused of ordering the killing of civilians were acquitted. In addition, Mubarak and his sons Gamal and Alaa were cleared of corruption charges because the statute of limitations had expired, notes AP. Angry protesters yesterday chanted "Down with SCAF," referring to the ruling military council, and slammed the "illegitimate" court ruling, reports CNN. Many are angry Mubarak was not sentenced to death.
After protests erupted, officials announced that Gamal and Alaa now also face money-laundering charges, and must still also answer for insider trading charges. In addition, lawmakers yesterday presented a "revolutionary justice" bill before parliament to create special courts to try members of Mubarak's regime for crimes including torture and corruption. Anger over the verdict is bound to have a major impact on the upcoming election, notes the Independent. Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the party's candidate for president, Mohamed Morsi, used the unrest to criticize Morsi's rival, "law-and-order candidate" Ahmed Shafik, a former air force captain and Mubarak's last prime minister whose headquarters was attacked last week.