On Friday hundreds of thousands of Egyptians again filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square, this time demanding the government take action against ousted president Hosni Mubarak and other leading members of his administration. The charges, the protesters said, were ordering the killing of previous protesters and the looting of the country’s treasury.
On Wednesday the government pounced, ordering Mr. Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, into custody for 15 days, while the allegations are investigated.
Mr. Mubarak is in hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh, having conveniently complained of heart troubles Monday. He was, almost certainly, given advance warning of the pending police raid, so that he could spend the period under custody in the relative comforts of a swank hospital, as befits a former leader. He also can garner some sympathy from those who don’t want to see their former leader, and wartime hero, suffer unduly in the late stage of his life.
His sons were reportedly flown by private jet to Cairo and put in prison – almost certainly the only inmates to have been transported to jail this way.