Egypt's Mubarak returns to court

Updated: 2011-12-28 23:01


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CAIRO - The Cairo Criminal Court resumed the trials of ex-President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons on Wednesday after a three-month halt over the controversial presiding judge.

The session opened at around 10 am (0800 GMT) and ended at 1: 30 pm (1130 GMT). Mubarak left in a helicopter to the International Medical Center where he is receiving treatment, while his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, along with former Interior Minister Habib el-Adli and his aids went back to Tora prison in police vehicles.

Egypt's Mubarak returns to court

A female supporter of Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak shouts slogans outside the police academy where his trial will take place in Cairo Dec 28, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

The session lasted for more than three hours with the attendance of five Kuwaiti lawyers in the defense team, which aroused the anger of the civil plaintiffs who believe this was an Egyptian case and no foreigners should intervene in such internal affairs.

The trials were adjourned to January 2 as the court need to review the appeal submitted by the defense team to conjoin the recent clashes in Cairo's Maspero district and Mohamed Mohamoud street into the case.

The state media reported Wednesday that Mubarak's defense team said they would reveal the third party that opened fire at demonstrators and were uncovered via the latest clashes.

"The defendants try to make use of the idea of a foreign hands or third party be involved in the case," one civil plaintiff told the state Nile TV.

As the civil plaintiffs were skeptical of the court conviction, they asked the judge to bring an expert to review the CDs recording the January 25 anti-government protests in order to make sure that no scene had been cut from the CDs.

"The court has accepted our request to bring an expert, and if some scenes are proved to be omitted, it will be an evidence of guilt," said the civil plaintiff.

Following the testimony delivered in September by head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Hussein Tantawi, the court will soon hear testimony from the armed forces' chief of staff, Sami Anan.

Mubarak, Adli and six former police commanders face charges of giving orders and complicity in killing protesters.

Mubarak, his two sons and businessman Hussein Salem, who is being tried in absentia, are charged with accepting and offering bribes, financial corruption, deliberate waste of public funds and abusing presidential authority for profiteering in the case of exporting Egyptian natural gas to Israel, official news agency MENA reported.

The trial has been postponed times as some plaintiff lawyers demanded changing the presiding judge, Ahmed Refaat. But the appeal was rejected by Cairo's Court of Appeals on December 7.

Mubarak's wife Suzanne Thabet and the wives of the two sons on Tuesday visited Alaa and Gamal, who are held in the Tora prison in southern Cairo.

Mubarak and his two sons have appeared in court for several times since their trial began on August 3. Head of the ruling military council Tantawi and former vice president Omar Suleiman have testified in the previous sessions.