CAIRO — Egypt’s military rulers denied local media reports they plan to grant amnesty to deposed president Hosni Mubarak following a wave of popular criticism and calls for new protests.
The denial, issued late Tuesday, followed unconfirmed reports that Mubarak would be pardoned in return for an apology to the nation for any wrongdoing and would also hand over his assets. The reports claimed the ousted leader would release an audio recording appealing for amnesty. The statement by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said the country’s judiciary has the sole authority in Mubarak’s case.
The media reports sparked a wave of criticism and prompted calls for a “Friday to reject the apology’’ rally in Tahrir Square. Several youth groups warned that granting amnesty to Mubarak would spark a new revolution in Egypt.
Calls also spread on Facebook and Twitter for rallies on May 27 under the banner, “I have not felt the change, I am going back to Tahrir,’’ referring to the central Cairo square that was the center of the protests that brought down Mubarak. They reflected disappointment with the way the military council, which took over from Mubarak, is running the country.
Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11 and transferred power to the council after 18 days of a popular uprising. He has been in custody in a hospital since last month over allegations of killings of protesters and corruption.
Mubarak’s 70-year-old wife, Suzanne, was released on Tuesday after she relinquished assets and property valued at some $4 million. The move aimed to settle corruption allegations against her, but it was unclear whether she still faces trial.
Mrs. Mubarak was hospitalized over the weekend after she fainted and complained of chest pains during interrogation.