A R A B I C A ارابيكا
Despite a revolution that culminated on February 11, 2011 when President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power, Egypt's unresolved past continues to haunt the present. Deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak returned to court as the prosecution presented its case against him. A group of lawyers have demanded that treason be added to the charges against Mubarak, along with trying the former vice president and head of intelligence, Omar Suleiman.
*Suleiman, one of Mubarak's chief accomplices, has so far escaped any censure for his role in the previous regime. Lawyers also demanded that the head of the ruling military council Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi be tried for perjury and obstruction of justice for testifying that Mubarak had no role in killing 856 protesters during the January 25th revolution.
Libya's Foreign Minister Ashur bin Khayyal announced that the United States, France and other countries in Europe have returned $20 billion in frozen assets.
In his first speech to the nation since last June, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad repeated promises of political reforms and said a referendum on a new constitution would take place in March that will fold the opposition into the government. Assad, as regime members have done since the beginning of the uprising last March, blamed the entire course of events in Syria on an external conspiracy.
*The sideshow of Arab League observers continued to distract from the increased violence against Syrian civilians. The Syrian opposition announced that 22 people were killed across the country on Monday, with a 4-month-old baby in Homs as the youngest victim of the violence.
*Meanwhile, A unidentified commander from the Free Syrian Army told A-Sharq al-Awsat pan-Arab daily that paid thugs, known as shibaha, are selling weapons for army defectors. "We pay them $500 for an RPG and $2,000 for an AK-47," he said. The FSA purchases the weapons with donations from Syrian citizens, he said.