Cairo: The second hearing in the retrial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday was abruptly adjourned until next Monday for judges to review the evidence.
Mubarak is facing a new trial over the deaths of protesters in the 2011 uprising, following his appeal against a life sentence for complicity in the killings. Mubarak, together with Habib Al Adly, former Interior Minister, is accused of killing demonstrators during the 18 days which led to the former president’s overthrow. The ex-minister, together with his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, also face accusations of using their former positions to illicitly expand their fortunes.
The trial was held at the Police Academy, formerly known as Mubarak’s Security Academy, where his police cadets used to receive four years of training before joining the force. Amid a raucous start to proceedings, lawyers for the victims’ families taunted Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal as they stood in the dock with chants of “The people want the execution of the murderer”.
More than 3,000 security forces were present in the area, which was flooded with Mubarak supporters on the one side and families of the victims on the other.
At the end of the trial’s last session, clashes broke out between the two camps. All of the defendants have pleaded “not guilty” to the charges against them.
Mubarak had been sentenced to life in prison by a previous court, but an appeals court ordered a retrial, citing procedural failures. In his hearing last month, Mubarak appeared in good health when he was wheeled into the makeshift court at a police academy outside Cairo.
In the trial’s opening session on May 11, Judge Mahmoud Al Rashidi issued an emotional appeal for order, saying he understood the “frustration” with the process.
Sharaf is a journalist based in Cairo