CAIRO -- Soha Sayed has no delusions that Saturdays expected verdict for deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will bring her any solace or her dead husband any justice. The days of rejoicing about democracy and justice have long passed, she said.
She watched every minute of the trial as the once-feared leader appeared in a court cage, as defendants do here, lying pitifully on a stretcher. She was moved once as he, his former minister of interior and six others were charged with killing protesters like her husband and injuring thousands of others during the uprising that ended the regime, specifically between Jan. 25 and Jan. 31, 2011.
Last week, she voted for Hamdeen Sabahi, branded by Egyptians as the revolutionary candidate, in Egypts first presidential election, only to learn that Mubaraks last prime minister won a spot in next months runoff instead.
For Sayed, that marked the latest in a series of disappointments that have diluted hopes that once drove her and her husband to rise up a year ago. At stake in Mubaraks verdict is not just the fate of the president but the state of a revolution that has been thrown into tumult after a series of losses. The election that some protesters died for led to a runoff between the two established factions here the Muslim Brotherhood and a regime remnant. That Mubarak and his co-defendants also could be acquitted, or receive light sentences, raises fears among revolutionaries that their march in Tahrir Square already has seen its apex.
Mubaraks fate rests in a court system he created over his 30-year rule, Sayed said. The top prosecutor was a Mubarak appointee, said Khalid Abu Bakr, a lead lawyer for the victims. And nearly 30 police commanders have been acquitted of the killing of protesters, leaving some to believe that if the courts could not convict them, then Mubarak will be acquitted as well.
Only five low-level police officers have been convicted so far. They were sentenced last week. Eleven others received suspended one-year sentences. One officer was convicted in absentia after fleeing from charges.
Many Egyptians believe Mubarak, 84, has suffered enough, saying the trial was gratuitous for an elder statesman who once was the face of the state. For them, his rule offered more stability than the revolutionaries.
Sayed, 43, said she struggles every day over whether her husband died in vain. That Mubaraks last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, could be the next president, democratically elected no less, only reaffirms her fears.
If Shafik wins, he died for nothing, she said and quietly wept before regaining her composure. But I will keep fighting. I want the world to know what he died for.
Sayeds husband was an accidental revolutionary. She was the one who talked politics and kept the family glued to the images on television as Egyptians took to the streets. Her husband, Osama, 44, was never politically active, but the swelling crowds compelled him to leave home on Jan. 28, 2011, and head toward nearby Giza Square, one of many protest sites. He last called home at 5:30 p.m. According to hospital records, he arrived at 6 p.m. By 11 p.m., his body was in the morgue.
She would not learn his fate until the next morning when he didnt come home and a stranger answered his cell phone. He had been shot, the man said, but dont worry, he is OK. She and her three children rushed to the hospital and searched for hours before finally going to the morgue. He had been shot in the back, his liver ruptured. Pellet wounds covered the soles of his feet.