Egypt’s ex-President Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison.

A court convicted him on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during last year’s uprising that forced him from power.

Scuffles broke out in the Cairo courtroom after the verdicts were announced. Egyptian security says the 84-year-old resisted leaving the helicopter that flew him to a prison hospital for the first time after the court sentenced him.

Mubarak was reportedly tearful as he pleaded to be taken back to the military hospital where he has been staying since his trial began on August. 3. It took his escorts 30 minutes to persuade him to leave the aircraft and enter the prison’s hospital.

This is the first time Mubarak will be held in a prison hospital since he was detained.

Mubarak’s two sons, Gamal and Alaa, were acquitted on corruption charges.
 
He is the first Arab leader to be tried by his own people in the country.

The news of Mubarak’s sentencing is being welcomed by a professor at UBC.

Younes Alila is originally from Tunisia, one of Egypt’s North African neighbours. He says for the people from North Africa, today’s newd is not all good, but it represents a step forward.

“The fear that has been installed in people for decades is not there anymore. That’s the most critical part of it — people are not feeling those dictatorships anymore,” feels Alila, adding the Egyptian people are ready to voice their opinions.

“When they are not happy with an outcome of whatever it is, including this prosecution, everybody now is back to Tahrir Square and there is no return whatsoever to dictatorship.”

He believes Egyptians are generally pleased to see Mubarak and his Interior Minister convicted, but are demonstrating in the streets again over the corruption charges being dropped against his sons.