Upcoming Mubarak verdict already dividing Egypt

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The prosecution occasionally posted official news on its Facebook page.

Some Egyptians now say they pity the ailing, aged Mr. Mubarak as they recall the stability of his regime.

“I’m sad to see him in this state,” said newspaper vendor Sobhy Al-Aghamy. “Our concern is just for the country to improve, and his trial will not benefit us in any way. We also remember things that were good about him.”

That is a far cry from prevailing sentiment in the immediate aftermath of Mr. Mubarak’s ouster after an 18-day popular revolt in February 2011. In the months since then, Egyptians have struggled with a weakened economy, a decline in security and a fall in tourism.

“When Mubarak was in power, everything was in a good state,” said Umm Ahmad, a bread vendor. “Things are now high priced. We have thugs and thieves, and there is no security.”

Instability and economic hardship are key among the reasons some here are focusing their attention on the future. Many Egyptians say they will vote for Mr. Shafiq, a former member of the Mubarak regime, because they believe he has the experience to restore some sense of normalcy.

“We didn’t forget about the trial, but we have our eyes on the people trying to control the country,” said small business owner Osama Ahmad.

Others say that, after addressing the past, Egyptians can look to the future.

“For many brackets of society the verdict is important, especially for those who lost their sons in the last period,” said Iman Abu Hatab, who lives in a downtown area where protesters and security forces have aged violent battles. “Mubarak will receive a sentence, according to what the judge sees, and then we will start a new era after the presidential elections.”

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