Top Mubarak Aide Testifies in Cairo

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 8:50 am (UTC-5)
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A top member of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's inner circle testified Tuesday in a Cairo courtroom under a media blackout at the trial of his ex-boss.

Omar Suleiman, a longtime intelligence chief who served briefly as Egypt's vice-president, was expected to face questions whether Mr. Mubarak orchestrated a deadly backlash against protesters seeking his removal from office earlier this year.

It is unprecedented for an Egyptian court to summon high-level military and intelligence officials.

Egypt's current military ruler, who was Mr. Mubarak's defense minister, had been due to testify on Sunday but failed to appear. Aides said Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi was busy with matters of national security due to violence outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo during the weekend.

Reports and judicial sources say Tantawi's testimony is now scheduled for September 24. They say the testimony of Lieutenant General Sami Enan was postponed from Monday to September 25.

The 74-year-old Suleiman was tasked by Mr. Mubarak to put down demonstrations against his rule. Suleiman arrived Tuesday morning at the Police Academy where the trial is being conducted. Journalists and outsiders are barred from the courtroom.


The former Egyptian president has pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption and complicity in the killing of protesters during the 18-day-uprising that led to his resignation. He also is accused of abuse of power.

Mr. Mubarak enters the Cairo courtroom on a stretcher and listens to court proceedings from a bed inside the court's large metal cage. He is being tried along with former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six deputies.