Monday, 5 September 2011

Mubarak trial to resume amid riots

The trial of former president Hosni Mubarak and his sons is due to resume amid minor riots among pro Mubarak supporters and those who ousted him. Mubarak stands accused of ordering the killing of protesters during the revolution earlier this year, which ended his three decade long rule. The former president denies all the charges.

Riots have broken out outside the court as the two sides – the pro Mubarak supporters and the revolutionaries – anticipate the commencement of the trial. Security officials are keeping the two sides apart in order to prevent the violence from escalating, but the division between the sides is palpable as some people are chanting in favour of the former president while others are calling for the death penalty.

The third hearing in the trial that began on 3rd August will not be broadcast around the country as Judge Ahmed Refaat has banned TV cameras from the court. It is thought that the judge was exasperated by the lawyers showing off for the benefit of television.

Some spectators say that the decision will make the work of the court easier, but anti Mubarak opponents suggest the decision may have been prompted by the fact that the court has struck a deal with the defendants.

Egypt's official daily newspaper Al Ahram, said four police officers responsible for operations in the central security force under Mubarak would take the stand today. The list includes head of communications Gen Hussein Saeed Mohamed Mursi.

The trial of Mubarak, and his sons Gamal and Alaa, has been merged with that of former interior minister Habib al-Adly, also accused of ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, Bloomberg

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

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