After a three-hour session broadcast live on state television, during which the charges were read and the prosecution made a statement, the proceedings were adjourned. The next hearing was set for June 8.
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Mubarak took to the defendant's cage together with his two sons Gamal and Alaa, and former interior minister at the time of the revolution, Habib al-Adly. All four men pleaded not guilty to the various charges, which include allegations of involvement in the deaths of some 850 protesters during Egypt's January 25 revolution which toppled the government, as well as charges of corruption.
Mubarak, 85, was airlifted to the courtroom from a military hospital, sat upright on a hospital gurney as he was wheeled into a cage reserved for defendants. Dressed in white prison uniforms, his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, stood alongside him. They face separate charges of corruption.
Mubarak, wearing dark, aviator sunglasses, raised his arm to confirm his presence as the judge read a list of the accused, and the charges they face, at the start of the session.
Mubarak at court (Photo: AFP)
Upon his arrival at the courthouse, family members of those killed in the uprising shouted "The people demand the execution of the murderer," while pro-Mubarak supports held signs that read "Free the President."
A witness said that the number of Mubarak supports were significantly larger than in previous court sessions. However, the number of those protesting against the former leader, comprised mostly out of family members of those killed during the revolution, had also increased.
Gamal, Alaa in defendants' cage (Photo: AFP)
Heading the judges' panel was Mahmoud Kamel el-Rachidi, described by local journalists as a "tough" judge who conducts his courtroom proceedings in a stern and strict manner.
Prosecutors informed Judge el-Rachidi that they planned on presenting new evidence from a fact-finding committee's report.
Protesters called for death penalty for Mubarak (Photo: MCT)
Mubarak and al-Adly were convicted in June 2012 for involvement in the deaths of protesters and were sentenced to life in prison; while Mubarak's two sons, Gamal and Alaa, together with six police generals from the interior minister, were acquitted.
In wake of the rulings, a number of appeals were filed by both the prosecution, and Mubarak and al-Adly; and hence it was decided they would all face a retrial, which was set to begin in April.
However, the retrial's original judge, Mostafa Hassan, recused himself only a few seconds after the session began, referring the case to an appeals court.
The judge's decision to recuse himself came after the civil prosecutors demanded the case be heard by another judge, citing the Judge Hassan's pro-Mubarak history.
In explaining their request, the prosecution, representing the families of protesters killed during Egypt's uprising, cited the fact Judge Hassan ordered the acquittals of 25 Mubarak loyalists who had been accused of organizing an attack in which assailants on horses and camels stormed Tahrir Square during the 18-day revolt that led to Mubarak's ouster.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report
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