CAIRO // Egypt's top prosecutor is appealing the verdicts in the trial of Egypt's ousted president and others, acquitting Hosni Mubarak and his two sons on corruption charges and clearing senior police officers of complicity in killing protesters, an official said yesterday.
Under Egyptian law, the prosecutor must appeal the entire verdict, which also included convictions and life sentences for Mubarak and his former security chief for failing to stop the killing of protesters in the uprising that ousted him last year.
Six top police commanders, who faced the same charge of complicity in killing protesters, were acquitted for what the judge said was lack of concrete evidence.
The official, who is at the prosecutor's office, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters.
The verdict led hundreds of Egyptians occupying Cairo's Tahrir Square yesterday after a night of rage against what they feel were lenient sentences handed down to ousted dictator Mubarak and his security chiefs.
Around 20,000 people took to Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square on Saturday after the verdicts were issued.
Some of the demonstrators slept in tents or out in the open overnight on the vast intersection, epicentre of the 18-day revolt that forced Mubarak to resign on February 11 last year.
"We intend to stay today and possibly tomorrow. We expect a lot more people to come during the day," said Omar Abdelkader, a young protester in Tahrir on Sunday.
"Many people had the feeling while listening to the verdict that we were back in the days of the old regime," said student Feda Essam, another protester in the square.
The demonstrators erected a memorial depicting a miniature cemetery made of gravestones and sand in tribute to the "martyrs" of the revolution.
"Martyrs, we will not abandon you to the conspiracies of the old regime. In the name of your blood, there will be a new revolution," said a banner.
Egyptian stocks dropped 2.4 per cent within half an hour of opening with the main EGX-30 index sliding to 4574.17 points.
"The street's lack of acceptance of the verdicts has cast a shadow over the Egyptian stock exchange, with individual investors selling," said financial analyst Walid Abdeen.
Early yesterday, offices of presidential candidate Ahmad Shafiq, Mubarak's last prime minister, were attacked in two provincial towns, a security services official said.
Mr Shafiq's campaign headquarters in Cairo had already been attacked last Monday.
On Saturday after the verdicts were passed, the Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate Mohammed Mursi said the revolution must continue.
"All of us, my brothers, must realise in this period that the continuation of the revolution, and the revolutionaries' staying put in their positions in the squares, is the only guarantee to achieve the goals," he told reporters before joining the crowds in Tahrir Square for about 15 minutes.
A tearful Mubarak, who enjoyed near absolute power for three decades, was flown by helicopter to Tora prison on Cairo's outskirts after the verdict but then refused to leave the aircraft.
A security official said Mubarak "suffered from a surprise health crisis" but was finally convinced to go to his cell.
Mubarak's sentence "is a significant step towards combating long-standing impunity in Egypt" but the security chiefs' acquittal "leaves many still waiting for full justice," Amnesty International said.
"Many see the acquittal of all the senior security officials as a sign that those responsible for human rights violations can still escape justice."
Mubarak's defence team said it will appeal against the verdicts.
* Associated Press and Agence France-Presse