Hosni Mubarak received a life sentence from a court in Cairo today after being charged in connection with the killing of protesters during last year's uprising. The uprising pushed Mubarak to resign last year after nearly 30 years of power.
NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports Mubarak's sons, Gamal and Alaa, were acquitted of corruption charges because the time limit had expired. Former interior minister Habib el-Adly received the same sentence as Mubarak. The Associated Press has a breakdown of all the charges and verdicts in the case.
Mubarak could have faced the death penalty. He watched the trial while laying down on a stretcher inside a cage in the courtroom, Nelson says:
"Mubarak looked emotionless, wearing a beige windbreaker sunglasses on his hospital gurney, his sons ... in prison whites, stood in front of him to protect him from the cameras."
She confirms that the former leader has already been transferred to the Torah prison in Cairo.
The AP reports thousands of riot police surrounded the building to prevent protesters from getting too close:
"Scuffles between Mubarak supporters and opponents broke out inside and outside the courtroom after the verdict was read, reflecting the deep polarization of the country since Mubarak was overthrown on Feb. 11, 2011."
Update at 5:45 a.m. ET. Not The Last Word:
The verdict "is almost certain to be appealed," according to The New York Times:
"Lawyers involved have said that many questionable procedural decisions during year long trial had left ample grounds to continue the legal fight. Convicting Mr. Mubarak and Mr. Adly on the basis that they failed to stop police from killing protesters would not normally meet the standards of international or Egyptian law for a murder conviction."
Update at 6:38 a.m. ET. Jumping For Joy:
Reporter Kimberly Adams was in the courtroom when the verdict was read. In the streets, Egyptians celebrated, she told Newscast:
"As the verdict was read, people set off fireworks, started dancing, started screaming, started crying. [They were] leaping for joy that Mubarak had received some type of conviction, even if it wasn't the death penalty, which a lot of people wanted. They were very happy that, as they say, some kind of justice was done."
As the BBC reports, however, "joy soon turned into angry shouts" outside the building when the crowd heard six aides to the former interior minister were acquitted. There were also clashes with riot police and demonstrations in Suez, the BBC says.