Mubarak Trial to Open in Cairo Aug. 3

Posted July 28th, 2011 at 9:10 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak's trial on charges of corruption and ordering police to kill anti-government protesters will begin next week in Cairo's Convention Center, ending weeks of speculation over the venue.

Egypt's deputy justice minister said Thursday the trial for Mr. Mubarak, his two sons, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six of his aides will begin August 3.

The 83-year-old former president and al-Adly face possible death sentences if convicted of unleashing police on the demonstrators that drove them from office during an 18-day uprising in February. At least 840 people were killed during the revolution.

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.

All 11 men will appear in a defendants' cage in the Cairo hall, which has seats for hundreds of people. The trial will be open to the public under heavy security and carried on Egyptian state television.

Questions over Mr. Mubarak's health had led some to believe the trial would be postponed or take place in the resort city of Sharm el Sheik, where he is being treated.

Egyptian medical officials say Mr. Mubarak is weak and is refusing solid food. Rumors about his health have been rife. Critics suspect they are designed to prevent the former leader from standing trial.

But Egypt's health minister Thursday confirmed that Mr. Mubarak's condition is stable and that he is well enough to be transferred from Sharm el Sheik to Cairo for the trial.

Any delay in his legal proceedings would likely further incite tensions between the military council currently ruling Egypt and protesters frustrated with the pace of change.

Mass demonstrations are expected on Friday protesting what opponents say are slow efforts at reform and justice.