Egyptian Prime Minister Says He Does 'Not Fear Civil War'


Beblawi struck a more conciliatory tone today. "We cannot exclude them," he said. "I personally think everyone in the Muslim Brotherhood and other civil societies have the right to be there. We must have transparency."

In a separate development that threatened to further complicate Egypt's perilous political situation, Cairo's Criminal Court acquitted former president Hosni Mubarak, 85, of an outstanding corruption charge, potentially paving the way for his release. The deposed president is appealing a life sentence, and has been behind bars since April 2011 on a lengthy and growing list of charges.

But while the Brotherhood was been keen to keep Mubarak locked up, the current military-backed government may not block his release. Mubarak was part of the military and many of the current government's leaders also served under Mubarak. Gen. Sissi was Mubarak's head of intelligence and the interim president, Adly Mansour, was initially promoted by Mubarak.

"Mubarak is under the control of the legal system," Beblawi said. "Whatever the judge decides, we will accept the outcome. It's not whether I like it or not. I want everyone to have a fair chance at a trial."

The streets of Cairo returned today to an unsettling calm as the city's notorious traffic once again clogged the streets. But as the sun sets, everyone frantically hurried home before the nighttime curfew.

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