Egypt's ex-dictator set to face new trial

Egypt's ex-dictator set to face new trial
Sat May 11, 2013 16:31:08

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is going to appear in court to face a new trial for complicity in the murder of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising, as well as for corruption.

The 85-year-old Mubarak, who was taken into court on Saturday in a wheelchair dressed in white and wearing sunglasses, is on trial along with his former interior minister, Habib al-Adly, and six security chiefs.


He also faces corruption charges with his two sons, Alaa and Gamal.


All defendants pleaded "not guilty" to the charges leveled against them.


Mubaraks appeared unfazed, as the judge struggled to keep control of the courtroom with lawyers clambering to the front to speak.


Mubarak was granted a retrial after his appeal against a life sentence was accepted due to procedural failings the first time round.


The retrial was meant to begin on April 13, but the judge in that instance recused himself in a hearing that lasted just seconds.


At Saturday's hearing, Judge Mahmoud al-Rashidi issued an emotional appeal for order, telling the court he understood their frustration with the process.


He confirmed that there would be new evidence presented in the case, which now includes 55,000 pages of documents and adjourned the hearing to June 8.


Outside the court, a handful of Mubarak supporters and victims' families had turned up amid a heavy security presence.


Egyptians remain polarized by the legacy of the former leader, as the country struggles to move forward under the new government of President Mohamed Morsi, elected in June.


The ousted leader was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison last June for involvement in the deaths of 846 people during the Egyptian revolution.


But Egypt's highest court ordered a retrial after it accepted Mubarak's appeal on grounds of procedural failings.


Last month, Mubarak was transferred to prison from a military hospital after the public prosecutor ordered the move because his health was deemed stable.


After months of rumours that Mubarak was at death's door, footage of him looking strong and defiant and waving at supporters in court had stunned many.

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