Egypt Continues Mubarak Trial

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 5:55 am (UTC-5)
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An Egyptian court has resumed the trial of former president Hosni Mubarak, with a heavy security presence outside the courthouse to prevent clashes between opponents and supporters of the ousted leader.

Mr. Mubarak arrived in the Cairo courtroom Wednesday on a stretcher, just as he has for previous sessions during which he lay on a bed inside the court's large metal cage.

The session follows testimony Monday from a top police official, who said he was not aware of any order to shoot live ammunition at protesters during the uprising that led to the president's ouster. Two other police witnesses told the court they were instructed to show restraint when dealing with protesters.

Mr. Mubarak has pleaded not guilty to charges that he ordered the killing of 850 protesters during the uprising that drove him from power earlier this year. He is also facing charges of corruption and abuse of power.

The state-run MENA news agency said Tuesday the justice ministry cleared five Kuwaiti lawyers to join Mr. Mubarak's defense team. The lawyers say they want to defend Mr. Mubarak because of his support for Kuwait following the 1990 Iraqi invasion.

Prosecution lawyers were visibly stunned by General Hussein Moussa's testimony on Monday, which bolstered claims by Mr. Mubarak's backers that he did not orchestrate the violence. Prosecutors accused Moussa of changing his story from the affidavit he had initially submitted to the court.

Mr. Mubarak is being tried along with former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six deputies, who are accused of giving orders that led to the killing of protesters. The former leader's sons, Alaa and Gamal, have denied separate corruption charges against them.

Mr. Mubarak is the first Arab leader to face trial in person since the so-called “Arab Spring” of popular revolts swept across much of North Africa and the Middle East this year.