State prosecutor appeals Mubarak verdict as Egypt’s divide intensifies

An anti-Mubarak protester holds a defaced picture of the former Egyptian president outside the police academy where Mubarak is on trial in Cairo June 2, 2012. Mubarak, who governed Egypt for 30 years before a popular uprising toppled him last year, will hear a judge rule on Saturday on whether he is guilty of graft and complicity in the killing of protesters. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW)End of an era … a defaced picture of Mubarak outside his trial. Photo: Reuters Photo: Reuters

CAIRO: Egypt’s top prosecutor is appealing the verdicts delivered against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, his sons and top security officials of his government – verdicts that have intensified the polarisation gripping Egypt two weeks before the run-off to decide the nation’s first competitive presidential race.

Under Egyptian law, the prosecutor must appeal the entire verdict, which also included convictions and life sentences for Mubarak and his former security chief for failing to stop the killing of protesters in the uprising that ousted him last year.

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Six top police commanders, who faced the same charge of complicity in killing protesters, were acquitted for what the judge said was lack of evidence.

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Egyptian protesters chant slogans during a demonstration in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, June 3, 2012. Tens of thousands took to the streets in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt. They chanted slogans against the generals who took over from Mubarak when the popular uprising forced him to step down 15 months ago. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)Anger … protesters chant slogans at a gathering of thousands in Tahrir Square, Cairo. Photo: AP

Thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo and other cities for a second night on Sunday to vent their anger at the verdicts, which many considered too weak. The presidential candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Mursi, stood with the protesters and pledged to press new charges against Mubarak if he is elected.

His opponent, Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s last prime minister, lashed back in a sweeping attack on the brotherhood, charging that the group was out for ”revenge” against the former government, that it used to collaborate with the Mubarak government in secret deals and that it now represented ”chaos”.

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Mr Shafiq accused the Muslim Brotherhood of intimidating voters and warned Egyptians that the once


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