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Africa

Mubarak due back in court as trial resumes in Cairo

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-08-15

The trial of Egypt’s former leader Hosni Mubarak resumes on Monday in Cairo. It is as yet unclear whether the ousted dictator will be present in court to face charges of corruption and ordering the killing of anti-regime protesters.

Former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak was due back in court Monday, as his trial for involvement in the killing of anti-regime activists during the January and February revolution that ended his 30-year rule was due to resume.

Early on Monday, crowds had gathered outside the court. Groups of supporters and detractors were separated by a line of riot police into two camps, said FRANCE 24’s Katherine Stapely, reporting from outside the Cairo court.

Mubarak is accused of authorising the lethal use of live ammunition to quell the protests. He also faces corruption charges alongside his sons, Gamal and Alaa.

The 83-year-old former dictator, being held in a military hospital outside of Cairo, is expected to be accompanied to court by a top oncologist who will testify that the former leader is suffering from cancer.

Mubarak first appeared in court on August 3, lying on a hospital bed inside a black metal cage surrounded by security guards. The shocking image of the former strongman in court while apparently ill shocked many when it was broadcast live on Egyptian television.

Mubarak denied all the allegations brought against him.

As the case was being heard, proceedings broke down as lawyers representing the families of some of the hundreds of people killed in the security crackdown during the spring protests jostled to make their demands to the court.

According to FRANCE 24’s Katherine Stapely, the same submissions will dominate Monday’s proceedings.

“We are expecting a lot of lawyers in court today because many of them were not able to get in last time because they didn’t have the required permits,” she said. “The judge is saying he will allow them in court today and we are expecting a lot of requests from them.”

Mubarak’s 1,600 witnesses

Meanwhile, Mubarak's lawyer Farid al-Deeb has asked the judge to call 1,600 witnesses, including top military officials.

If the court decide against hearing evidence from every single person on this long list, it will enable Mubarak’s legal team to appeal in the advent of a guilty verdict.

“If the court does not listen to all the witnesses, it will give grounds for appeal,” Taher Abu Nasr, whose Front for the Defence of Egyptian Protesters represents 35 plaintiffs, told AFP. “There will be an appeal, and the appeal will be successful.”

Lawyers for Mubarak’s alleged victims also fear the thousands of files in evidence given to the court were provided too late and therefore insufficiently examined.

Legal experts believe that a thorough investigation into Mubarak's alleged crimes should have taken several more months, but was expedited by the military and the government to mollify protesters.

"The prosecution (filed the case) perhaps before questioning people they should have questioned," said Abu Nasr to AFP.

In the 18 days that led to Mubarak's ouster, more than 850 people were killed and thousands more wounded.

 

 

Date created : 2011-08-15

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