Egypt's Mubarak returns to court in landmark trial

Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:14pm GMT
 

By Tamim Elyan

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, charged with the killing of protesters and abuse of power, was wheeled into court on a hospital trolley on Wednesday as his trial resumed after a delay of almost two months while lawyers demanded a new judge.

Many Egyptians hope the trial will heal some of the scars of his autocratic rule and help the country find stability after nearly a year of political turmoil under the military generals who replaced him in power.

But the multitude of witnesses and the complexity of the charges mean the case could drag on for months, perhaps years.

Mubarak, his two sons, the former interior minister and senior police officers face charges ranging from corruption to involvement in the deaths of hundreds of protesters in the uprising that unseated him.

"The court has responded to all the defendants' lawyers requests," said lawyer Khaled Abu Bakr, who represents families of people who died in the uprising. "Egypt has guaranteed for Mubarak a very fair trial, the judge has ensured that all the basics of justice are there ... no one should object the final verdict"

The former leader, who is being held under guard at a military hospital near Cairo because doctors say he has a heart condition, was brought into the court on a hospital trolley, covering his eyes with his arm and surrounded by police.

Previous sessions were marred by clashes outside the Cairo court building between Mubarak supporters and Egyptians demanding the death penalty for him, but there were no scuffles when Mubarak arrived on Wednesday.

He was widely believed to be grooming his son Gamal to succeed him but any such plan was overturned when disgust at poverty, corruption and the brutality of Egypt's security forces boiled over and millions took to the streets in January.   Continued...

An Egyptian man stands in front of a poster depicting former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak with his sons at Tahrir Square in Cairo, December 27, 2011.   REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
 
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