Mubarak Stretchered into Court, Trial Adjourned

| 03.01,12. 12:21 AM |

Mubarak Stretchered into Court, Trial Adjourned

The judge in the murder and corruption trial of Egypt's ex-president Hosni Mubarak adjourned the hearing on Monday to the next day to hear the prosecution's arguments.

The fallen dictator was wheeled into court on a stretcher as his trial for the deaths of protesters during the uprising that ousted him in February.

The next hearings will take place over Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Mubarak, 83, faces execution if he is convicted of the murder charge. He suffers from a heart condition and is detained in a military hospital on Cairo's outskirts.

His trial resumed last week after a three month hiatus that saw the country's first parliamentary election since his ouster and a spike in deadly protests against the generals who took charge after his overthrow.

During the break, lawyers for Mubarak's alleged victims had tried to dismiss chief judge Ahmed Refaat, whom they accused of bias towards the defense, but failed.

Mubarak, also charged with corruption, shares the defendants' cage with his former interior minister Habib al-Adly, six former security chiefs and his two sons Alaa and Gamal, who face graft charges.

The hearings began on August 3 after months of protests to pressure the military rulers to place the strongman, who ruled for three decades, on trial along with former regime officials.

But relatives of his alleged victims say their hopes to see him sentenced have been dashed by a string of prosecution witnesses who mostly confirmed the defense's case that Mubarak never gave orders to shoot protesters.

The most senior witness, a former assistant to the interior minister, said that Adly had ordered police to use tear gas and water cannon against protesters during the most violent day of protests on January 28.

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak's former defense minister who is now the country's military ruler, testified in camera. The court issued a gag order on his testimony, but lawyers say he did not incriminate Mubarak.


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