CAIRO -- Egypt’s prosecutor general Monday ordered convicted former President Hosni Mubarak to be transferred back to a prison hospital after his health improved while undergoing treatment at an upscale military facility, according to state media.
The ups and downs of the 84-year-old former leader’s medical condition have played as a subplot to Egypt’s troubled transition to democracy. Prosecutor General Abdel Maguid Mahmoud determined that Mubarak, who last month was rushed to the military hospital amid false reports that he was clinically dead, was well enough to return to Tora prison.
Mubarak's lawyer criticized the order, calling it illegal.
"The president’s health is stable, but not yet improved, so he cannot be taken to an unclean prison that’s not properly equipped,” said attorney Yousry Abdelrazeq.
The lawyer said there would be a protest in front of the prosecutor general’s office Tuesday against the decision. He added that Mubarak’s defense team would file a lawsuit against the prosecutor for “attempted murder and assassination” of Mubarak.
“It seems that the prosecutor general is trying to get on Mohamed Morsi’s good side by taking such a decision at the expense of Mubarak’s health,” said Abdelrazeq, referring to Egypt’s newly inaugurated president.
Mubarak reportedly suffers from heart problems and poor circulation. Many Egyptians say his ailments are a ploy to stay out of jail. The prosecutor general’s decision comes amid growing anger among many Egyptians over a battered economy and rising food prices that have sparked labor strikes across the country.
Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison for failing to stop the killing of hundreds of protesters who revolted against his regime last year, demanding equal opportunities, better living conditions and dignity. His return to Tora reunites him with his sons, Gamal and Alaa, who are on trial for financial corruption.
-- Reem Abdellatif
Photo: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak looks on from a cage at his trial in Cairo in June. Credit: European Pressphoto Agency