As the dust begins to settle from the January 25 Egyptian revolution, many discussions are beginning to appear regarding the prosecution of political figures and businessmen for corruption.
On one side of the debate, people are quoting passages from the Quran and Prophetic sayings (Ahadeeth) urging the masses to look ahead and leave the dark past behind them in the name of mercy and compassion to the accused. Others also argue that focusing on the past hinders the progress towards a better future.
I think this sends the wrong signals to those very same corrupt individuals. It says that if your crimes are so large and so heinous you will be treated with a “forgive and forget” or “too big to fail” policy.
Justice is a key element to a functioning democracy and justice must be served, with due process of course. Accusations should be investigated and the accused should be treated as innocent until proven guilty.
Egypt has enough resources to focus both on building the future and giving a fair and swift closure to the dark past. The district attorneys’ role in society is to investigate such crimes and in doing so, they are sending a clear message to all Egyptians that corruption will no longer be tolerated in the new Egyptian society.