EGYPT: Former President Hosni Mubarak reportedly taken to hospital
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was admitted to a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh two days after he and his sons were summoned for questioning by authorities for alleged corruption and abuse of power stemming from his near 30-year rule, state media reported.
“Mubarak entered Sharm El Sheikh International Hospital at around 4 p.m. and is currently in a stable condition,” the hospital’s manager was quoted as saying by state TV. Mubarak, 82, has been ill health for more than a year, but state media indicated his visit to the hospital may have been motivated by his growing legal problems.
The former leader and his two sons -- Alaa and Gamal -- were called for questioning by Egypt’s attorney general on Sunday over charges of illegal gains and violence against protesters during the 18-day revolt that started on Jan. 25 and ended with the ex-president’s ouster. The three were expected to be interrogated as early as this week.
Mubarak was “submitted to hospital with the pretext of illness to avoid appearing before interrogation authorities,” the state-run newspaper Al Ahram reported. The newspaper added that Mubarak’s youngest son and head of the former ruling National Democratic Party’s policies committee, Gamal, was on his way to Cairo to be questioned late on Tuesday.
In a recorded address to the nation aired by Al Arabiya on Sunday, Mubarak tried to clear his name of wrongdoing by denying he held bank accounts or properties outside Egypt. News of investigations into the Mubarak family's financial dealings have fascinated and angered a country attempting to move beyond his repressive police state.
Since his overthrow on Feb. 11, when the nation was taken over by a military council, Mubarak has been living in his private palace in Sharm El Sheikh. The attorney general has frozen his financial assets and banned his family members from leaving the country. Concerns over Mubarak's health grew after he underwent a gallbladder surgery and had a growth removed from his intestine at a German hospital one year ago.
-- Amro Hassan in Cairo
Photo: Mubarak at the presidential palace in Cairo in January. Credit: Amel Pain / EPA