No to kangaroo courts
By Makram Mohamed Ahmed
One of the most honourable deeds of the 25 January Revolution was to place the former president and all those who committed crimes against the people on trial by their natural judges, not before kangaroo courts.
To establish the supremacy of the law, we have so far avoided any extra-legal measures. We didn't do what the Iraqis did in 1958, when they started a series of infamous trials that came to be known as Al-Mahdawi's trials. Nor did we form revolutionary courts like those we had in Egypt after 1952 -- the courts that had no semblance of standard procedure and gave defendants no real chance of presenting their case.
We put Mubarak and his aides on trial to get justice, to punish them for the death of innocent people, and to prove that the law applies to everyone without distinction. Let this be a lesson to future presidents. The trip between the presidential palace and Tora Prison is shorter than it looks. Those who abuse their power are no longer immune to the law.
The 25 January Revolution is, above all, about having a civil and lawful state. Now we have one, so let's not squander it. Political wrangling should not be allowed to get out of hand. We must elect a president through the ballot box, not in the street. We owe it to ourselves to have the lawful country for which we waited for so long.
Those who are asking for revolutionary courts are taking risks with the future of this country. Egypt needs to move forward, not be a captive of its past. Both the former president and his interior minister were convicted for failing to stop the killings. Interior Ministry officials against whom the evidence was inconclusive were set free. This is justice in motion. So let's not push the country over the brink.
This week's Soapbox speaker is a senior columnist at Al-Ahram.