In the hope of winning immunity, Egypt's former ruler, Hosni Mubarak, reportedly plans to issue an apology to his countrymen for his regime's crimes, and return state assets he squirreled away while in power (though not those assets he invested abroad). Egypt's ruling military council denied that it was considering a pardon for Mubarak, currently in custody in a hospital. (Mubarak's wife, Suzanne, was released on bail this week after agreeing to hand over $4 million to the Ministry of Finance.) Would letting Mubarek off the hook help the country move on, or just stir up more unrest?
Amnesty would be an insult to Mubarak's victims: The demonstrators who pushed Mubarak out of power "want more than just a plea for forgiveness and some money," says Elizabeth Ross-Harrison at Technorati. They want justice. If the new government doesn't give it to them, and falls for Mubarak's transparent attempt to preserve the assets he stashed overseas, the unrest in Egypt may have only just begun.
"Mubarak buying his way out of prison"
Punishing Mubarak may not help Egypt: With feelings "running high," many Egyptians understandably bristle at the suggestion that Mubarak might get off easy, says the Arab News Blog. And, obviously, Mubarak should give back every dime of government money he took. But Egypt might heal faster with "a national reconciliation process like that in post-apartheid South Africa, rather than show trials and punishment."
"Reports Mubarak to ask for amnesty provoking debate"
But don't forget Mubarak's criminal crackdown on protesters: Clauses in Egyptian laws can "significantly reduce, or even wipe away, corruption charges if the money is recovered," says Richard Engel at MSNBC. But even if Mubarak benefits there, "he still faces accusations of ordering a deadly crackdown on demonstrators...." No apology is enough to overlook charges that he killed people.
"Mubarak may apologize, return money"