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Former interior minister's murder trial resumes

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-14

Egypt's former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly (pictured), alongside six of his deputies, headed back to court on Sunday to face murder charges for having ordered police to fire on protesters during the country's popular uprising earlier this year.

REUTERS - The trial of Egypt's former interior minister over the death of protesters in an 18-day uprising resumed on Sunday, with lawyers for the dead demanding the government reveal letters and logs of phone calls to discover who gave the order to open fire.

Habib el-Adli was in charge of a massive security apparatus blamed for systematic rights abuses and the smothering of all opposition to former President Hosni Mubarak's 29-year rule.

The trials of Adli, Mubarak and his sons, who appeared in the courtroom's steel cage on Aug. 3 to plead not guilty of the killings, have gripped audiences across a region dominated by long-serving autocrats.

Adli and six of his top officials watched from the cage as lawyers crowded towards the judge's bench to list their demands for more evidence.

All seven defendants face the death penalty if convicted over the deaths of more than 850 protesters during the uprising in January and February.

Police used live ammunition, rubber bullets and teargas to try to quell the protests.

Amir Hamdy Salem, one of the many lawyers for the plaintiffs, asked to see all communication between Mubarak and Adli stored in the presidential palace and Mubarak's residence.

"Regarding the request to continue to view evidence, the court will consider it," said Judge Ahmed Refaat.

Salem also demanded written correspondence and records of calls between Mubarak and his ex-intelligence chief Omar Suleiman kept in Egyptian intelligence headquarters.

He requested log books showing orders given by Adli and Hasan Abdel Rahman, the head of state security, to officers trained as snipers as well as logs of the ammunition used.

In his role as security chief, Adli was the target of animosity from much of the population. But many Egyptians were unsure whether the ruling military council would subject former army officer Mubarak to the humiliation of a public trial.

That only heightened the drama of his appearance this month in the courtroom, lying in a hospital bed and flanked by his sons Alaa and Gamal, who many Egyptians believed had been groomed to succeed his father as head of state.

Mubarak's trial resumes on Monday.
 

Date created : 2011-08-14

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