Egypt Continues Mubarak Trial

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 1:05 am (UTC-5)
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An Egyptian court is set to hear more testimony Wednesday in the trial of former president Hosni Mubarak, as the country's justice ministry cleared a group of Kuwaiti lawyers to join Mr. Mubarak's defense team.

The session at the court in Cairo 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.

The state-run MENA news agency said Tuesday the justice ministry approved the request of five Kuwaiti lawyers, who say they want to defend Mr. Mubarak because of his support for Kuwait following the 1990 Iraqi invasion.

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.

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 has attended the court sessions lying on a stretcher inside the courtroom's large metal cage.

He 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.