EGYPT: Hosni Mubarak and sons to be tried in Cairo
A conference hall in east Cairo will serve as the courtroom Wednesday when the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons gets underway, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported Thursday.
“It has been finally decided that the trial for ex-President Hosni Mubarak, his two sons, businessman Hussein Salem, former Interior Minister Habib Adli and six of his aides" will take place in the Public Investment Administration building in Cairo's Nasr City district, Deputy Minister of Justice Mohamed Manie was quoted by MENA as saying.
Concerns over Mubarak’s reputed deteriorating health have been growing in recent weeks and many Egyptians believe the trial may be postponed. The former leader is reported to be refusing food. His lawyer told journalists that Mubarak was suffering from cancer and on the verge of death, claims that have been denied by Health Ministry officials.
The former president and Adli will be tried on charges that they ordered the crackdown that led to the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the revolution in January and February. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.
Some protesters camping in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the Jan. 25 revolution, believe that the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces doesn’t want Mubarak, 83, to be tried “because of their ties with the ex-president from the days they served under his guidance.”
Activists and families of those killed during uprising fear that Mubarak’s ailments, including a heart problem, might be a ruse by his defense to avoid justice.
But the Ministry of Health confirmed Thursday that Mubarak’s condition was stable and that he was well enough to be transferred from a hospital in Sharm el Sheikh to Cairo for the trial. “Mubarak’s health is in an appropriate condition to be tried in Cairo,” Health Minister Amr Helmy said.
The ousted president's sons, Gamal and Alaa, will be tried for alleged financial corruption. Their father is also facing charges of stealing millions of dollars of state money.
-- Amro Hassan in Cairo
Photo: Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak. Credit: Associated Press