Mubarak appears briefly in court

Trial of former Egyptian president adjourned amid speculation he could be acquitted.

    The trial of Mubarak and his aides resumed last week amid tight security [AFP]

    Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak has briefly appeared in court, before the trial was adjourned until Tuesday.

    State television showed footage of Mubarak being wheeled on a stretcher into the police academy at the outskirts of Cairo on Monday as the court convened for a second time after a two-months break.

    His sons Alaa and Gamal, facing corruption charges, also returned to court along with former interior minister Habib el-Adly.

    Mubarak is charged with complicity in the killing of more than 800 protesters during the uprising that overthrew him in February, as well as with corruption.

    He could face execution if convicted of ordering the killings of protesters. But some see last week's acquittal of five policemen charged with killing protesters as a possible prelude to the dismissal of charges against the toppled president. 

    Mubarak, 83, is being treated in a military hospital for a heart condition between sessions of the trial.

    Accusation of bias

    Mubarak's trial resumed last week after a break that saw the country's first parliamentary election since his ousting and a sharp increase in deadly protests against the military council which took charge after his overthrow.

    During the break, lawyers for slain protesters had tried to dismiss chief judge Ahmed Refaat, whom they accused of bias towards the defence, but failed.

    Relatives of the victims say their hopes of seeing Mubarak sentenced have been dashed by a string of prosecution witnesses who mostly confirmed the defence'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 defence minister who is now the country's military ruler, testified in camera.

    The court issued a gagging order on his testimony, but lawyers say he did not incriminate Mubarak.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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