TROMSO, Norway -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton isn't commenting directly on the life-in-prison sentence handed down to ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (HOHS'-nee moo-BAH'-rahk), but says his fate is "up to the Egyptian people, their judicial system and their government."

The 84-year-old Mubarak, an American ally who ruled for decades, was sentenced Saturday for failing to stop the killing of protesters during the uprising that forced him from power in 2011.

Clinton is praising Egypt for what she says was the recent free and fair election for president that is a further sign of Egypt's progress in its democratic transition.

The initial presidential vote has set up a mid-June contest between Mubarak's last prime minister and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a fundamentalist Islamist group that Mubarak long persecuted.

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  • Patrons in a downtown cafe react to the announcement of the verdict in the final session of the trial of Hosni Mubarak, Saturday, June 2, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for his role in the killing of protesters during last year's revolution that forced him from power, a verdict that caps a stunning fall from grace for a man who ruled the country as his personal fiefdom for nearly three decades. (AP Photo/Thomas Hartwell)

  • A view inside the defendants cage inside a courtroom where former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, his sons and several security officers wait for a verdict in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 2, 2012. Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for his role in the killing of protesters during last year's revolution that forced him from power, a verdict that caps a stunning fall from grace for a man who ruled the country as his personal fiefdom for nearly three decades.(AP Photo)

  • Egyptians celebrate the life sentence of former President Hosni Mubarak Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 2, 2012. Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for his role in the killing of protesters during last year's revolution that forced him from power, a verdict that caps a stunning fall from grace for a man who ruled the country as his personal fiefdom for nearly three decades. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

  • People gather inside a courtroom to hear a verdict in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, his sons and several security officers in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 2, 2012. Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for his role in the killing of protesters during last year's revolution that forced him from power, a verdict that caps a stunning fall from grace for a man who ruled the country as his personal fiefdom for nearly three decades. (AP Photo)

  • Egyptians chant anti-Hosni Mubarak slogans during a rally protesting what they called "a soft verdict," in Tahrir square, Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 2, 2012. Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for his role in the killing of protesters during last year's revolution that forced him from power, a verdict that caps a stunning fall from grace for a man who ruled the country as his personal fiefdom for nearly three decades. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

  • Egyptians watch the final session of the trial of Hosni Mubarak, on trial along with his sons and security officials including Habib Al-Adly, on screen, on television in a coffee house Saturday, June 2, 2012, in Qena, Egypt. Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for his role in the killing of protesters during last year's revolution that forced him from power, a verdict that caps a stunning fall from grace for a man who ruled the country as his personal fiefdom for nearly three decades. (AP Photo/Ibrahim Mohammed)

  • Hosni Mubarak

    In this video image taken from Egyptian State Television, 84-year-old former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak arrives to court before a judge issued a verdict in on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during last year's uprising that forced him from power, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Egyptian State TV)

  • Egyptian mothers of two protesters killed during the Egyptian uprising embrace after announcement of former President Hosni Mubarak's life sentence outside the police academy courtroom in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 2, 2012. Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for his role in the killing of protesters during last year's revolution that forced him from power, a verdict that caps a stunning fall from grace for a man who ruled the country as his personal fiefdom for nearly three decades. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

  • Alaa Mubarak, Gamal Mubarak

    In this video image taken from Egyptian State Television, scuffles break out in the courtroom after a judge read the verdict in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak and his sons in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 2, 2012. Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison after a court convicted him on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during last year's uprising that forced him from power. Mubarak's two sons Gamal and Alaa were acquitted on corruption charges. (AP Photo/Egyptian State TV)

  • Alaa Mubarak, Gamal Mubarak

    In this video image taken from Egyptian State Television, scuffles break out in the courtroom after a judge read the verdict in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak and his sons in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 2, 2012. Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison after a court convicted him on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during last year's uprising that forced him from power. Mubarak's two sons Gamal and Alaa were acquitted on corruption charges. (AP Photo/Egyptian State TV)

  • Egyptians react as they listen to a car radio broadcasting the verdict for former president Hosni Mubarak outside the police academy courtroom in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 2, 2012. Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison after a court convicted him on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during last year's uprising that forced him from power.