When Hosni Mubarak, once the Arab world’s most powerful leader, was wheeled into a courtroom on a stretcher to face charges of murder and corruption, Egyptians were able to watch the proceedings live on television.
But now Judge Ahmed Rifaat has ordered an end to the live broadcasts. He has also merged the trials of Mubarak, his sons and the former interior minister Habib El Adly, before adjourning the trial until September 5.
The move has been met by shock, anger and disappointment among many Egyptians as they ask why the biggest case in the country’s history should be banned from the public. Many are now worried that a deal has been struck behind the scenes.
Inside Story discusses with guests: Ahmed Naguib, the co-founder of the Council of Trustees of the Revolution in Egypt; Manar Shorbagy, an associate professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo; and Daniel Newman, a professor of Arabic Studies at Durham University in the UK.