CAIRO - Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak denied in court on Wednesday ordering the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year rule.
Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for complicity in the deaths of demonstrators and the breakdown of law and order during the 18-day revolt, but an appeals court subsequently ordered a retrial.
He was freed on those charges but is serving a separate three-year sentence for embezzlement at a military hospital in the upscale Maadi district of Cairo.
Mubarak, who is on trial with his sons and other senior officials, also denied the corruption charges and said he had faithfully served his country for 62 years, first as a military officer and later as president.
Hosni Mubarak in court, April 2014 (Photo: AP)
"Hosni Mubarak, who is before you today, did not order at all the killing of protesters or the shedding of the blood of Egyptians," he told the court room, reading from a prepared statement. "And I did not issue an order to cause chaos and I did not issue an order to create a security vacuum."
Many Egyptians who lived through three decades of autocracy and crony capitalism under Mubarak considered it a victory to see him and his allies behind bars.
But since the ouster of freely elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last year by then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, some Mubarak-era allies have been freed, raising concern among activists that the old regime was regaining influence.