Egypt’s Mubarak on trial for murder
EGYPT: Egypt’s ex-president Hosni Mubarak was wheeled into
court on a stretcher on Wednesday and denied murder and graft charges,
as sporadic clashes erupted outside between his supporters and his foes.
The former strongman, looking pale and dressed in white, pleaded not
guilty from a metal-barred cage to the premeditated murder of protesters
who took to the streets to topple his regime in an uprising that erupted
on January 25.
He and his sons Alaa and Gamal also denied all corruption charges.
After a four-hour hearing — the former strongman’s first public
appearance since he resigned on February 11 — the trial of the Mubaraks
was adjourned until August 15.
Former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six of his deputies were
also in the dock in the same case, and they are due in court again on
Judge Ahmed Refaat, presiding over the Cairo Criminal Court, said
Mubarak would be staying at the International Medical Centre, a hospital
on the outskirts of Cairo, until the next hearing.
In response to a request by the defence team, Refaat agreed to allow
an oncologist to follow up on Mubarak’s health during his hospital stay.
Alaa and Gamal seemed composed throughout the hearing and appeared to
take turns to shield their ailing father from the television cameras,
leaning down regularly to talk to him.
The trial of Mubarak, whose spectacular downfall sent shockwaves
across the region, was a key demand of the uprising.
One civil society lawyer called for Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi,
head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and
Mubarak’s long-time defence minister, to appear as a witness in the