Mubarak in court again in would-be lengthy trial

Updated: 2011-08-16 11:08


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Mubarak in court again in would-be lengthy trial
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is seen in the courtroom during his trial at the police academy in Cairo in this still image taken from video, August 15, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

CAIRO - Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak appeared in court on Monday for the second time with his two sons on charges of murder and corruption.

The trial began at around 10:40 am (0840 GMT) and ended at 1 pm (1100 GMT) on Monday. Mubarak was laying on a stretcher in a blue suit, unlike his two sons in white who were standing by their father's bed.

During the whole process, Mubarak only said "I am present" when presiding judge Ahmed Refaat read the names of the defendants.

At the court, Refaat examined the evidences, including some DVDs and one flash memory.

Fareed El-Deeb, Mubarak's lawyer, asked for a copy of the evidences and the adjournment of the case in order to have enough time to oversee the evidences.

The trial was adjourned to September 5 when Mubarak would be on trial with former interior minister Habib El-Adli.

Refaat ordered to ban live broadcasting coverage of the coming trials of Mubarak and his followers in order to maintain public interests.

Calls for public and transparent trial for Mubarak and his associates have been main and urgent demands of the protesters to make sure of the integrity and fairness of the court proceedings.

Mubarak and his two sons, who first appeared in court at the Police Academy on August 3, faced charges of ordering to kill the protesters, squandering public money and exporting gas to Israel at low prices. But they denied all the charge on the first session on August 3.

Clashes between supporters and opponents of Mubarak erupted outside the academy as the trial started. They threw stones at each other, leaving 35 people injured.

Thousands of riot police were deployed along with armored vehicles and ambulances outside the court to keep apart pro- and anti-Mubarak demonstrators watching the trial's second session on a giant screen.

Almost six months after his resignation, Mubarak was brought to justice under the continuous pressure from youth groups. But the trial will by no means serve to quickly restore the social order given the upcoming parliamentary elections in November.

The clashes between pro- and anti-Mubarak people were more fierce on Monday. Mubarak's supporters have claimed they would defend the former president.

83-year-old Mubarak raised mixed feelings among the Egyptian people. He was once a national hero during the war against Israel in the late 1970s. But he was also blamed on the relationship between Egypt and Israel.

During the 18-day protests started on January 25, some 846 people were killed and more than 6,000 were injured. Protesters  believe that Mubarak and Adli should be held accountable for the killing.

Mubarak denied, as he had done in April, all the charges against him and his family.

Ahmad Ban, a political expert with the Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said the trial's procedures were slow.

"I think the trials of the former president will be prolonged till the next new government is formed so that he will be granted amnesty by a new elected president," he added.



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