Egypt's Mubarak 'has cancer'

Lawyer says former president had the disease since March 2010, but it had been kept a secret.

    Hosni Mubarak is suffering from cancer, his defence lawyer has said, citing a medical report to assess whether the former Egyptian president is fit enough to stand trial.

    "He has a stomach cancer and the tumours are growing," Farid el-Deeb, Mubarak's lawyer, said on Monday.

    El-Deeb told Al Jazeera's Nadia Magd that Mubarak has had cancer since March 2010, but it had been kept a secret.

    In March 2010, Mubarak underwent surgery in Germany to remove his gall bladder and a growth on his small intestine.

    El-Deeb said the cancer had spread to his stomach, causing severe repercussions on his heart and brain vessels.

    Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades, was forced to step down from office in February following a mass uprising inspired by a similar revolt in Tunisia.

    He is currently under detention in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, awaiting trial over a slew of charges.

    The lawyer said he had been slipping into coma periodically due to his failing health.

    However, two senior Egyptian medical officials said the former president does not have the disease.

    Assem Azzam, the head of Mubarak's medical team in the Sharm el-Sheikh hospital, said: “All medical checkups show that he doesn't have cancer. This is not true at all.''

    “His condition in general is stable,” he said.

    Another top medical official in the hospital said that Mubarak is only suffering from heart troubles.

    “He is not even inside intensive care. He is in a normal room,'' the official said on condition of anonymity.

    According to el-Deeb, a request was submitted to the prosecutor-general's office last Thursday, requesting that Mubarak's German doctor be called to treat him.

    The lawyer said he was still awaiting a response to the request, which had been sent to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces. The military has been running the country's affairs since Mubarak's ouster.

    Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin reporting from Cairo said: "Some are saying, that the lawyer now believes that his [Mubarak's] health is deteriorating to a point where he needed to go public with more stronger descriptions of what those ailments are."

    “The fact that Mubarak's trial has been set so far down the road has been a point of criticism among many Egyptians.”

    Judges who spoke out after the trial date was set said that the court does not necessarily have to be in Cairo.

    Our correspondent said that a judge told him that the court proceeding could take place in Sharm el-Sheikh and Mubarak could stand trial while still in hospital.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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