One day after lawyers for Egypt's former President, Hosni Mubarak, delivered their closing remarks in his trial, the former ruler told the court that he was saddened by what he called “baseless” claims against him.
The Associated Press reported on Thursday that Mubarak made the remarks in a memo he sent to the court and in which he expressed confidence in the judicial system and history to clear his name. The memo was published in the Tahrir newspaper on Thursday, AP said.
Lawyers reportedly confirmed Mubarak had presented a letter to the court, but did not know its contents. One lawyer, Adel Mekki, who represents families of protesters killed during the uprising that led to Mubarak’s ouster, told AP the note presented in court was longer than the one published in the newspaper.
In the letter, Mubarak spoke in the third person and told the court he has worked to defend his nation's honor and his people's blood.
“The unjust accusations and the baseless allegations I am facing sadden me. I am not someone who would shed his people's blood. I have spent my life defending them. Hosni Mubarak is not someone to smear his military honor with ill-gotten wealth,” AP quoted the published letter as having said.
Mubarak, who is charged with complicity in the killing of nearly 900 protesters in the uprising, said the demonstrators had "legitimate" demands, but accused them of provoking and attacking security forces. He also voiced confidence that Egyptians would exonerate him, and called on them to ignore those who he said were receiving foreign funds to sow sedition in Egypt.
“Despite everything, I am totally confident in the fairness and justice of the Egyptian judiciary,” he said. “I am totally confident in history's judgment, and totally confident in the great Egyptian people's judgment — free from the allegations of the tendentious and those seeking to sow sedition, and those receiving foreign funding.”
Mubarak ended his memo with a famous line from an Arab poem and wrote, “My country is dear even if it is unjust to me. My people are honorable even if they were unfair to me.”
On Wednesday, Judge Ahmed Refa'at, chief of the Cairo Criminal Court and presiding justice in Mubarak’s case, said that by the day's end, he would set a date for issuing a verdict, but the decision could be weeks away.
Mubarak’s trial resumed in Cairo last month after having dragged on for months. The prosecutor later announced that he is seeking the death penalty for the man who led the nation for more than 30 years.
Earlier in the week, Egypt's General Prosecutor said that he had been unable to prove that any foreign power or organization had been involved in the violence against Egyptians during the uprising against Mubarak last year.