Photo: AFP
Retrial moved to appellate court
Photo: AFP

Mubarak retrial opens only to end minutes afterward

After long journey, Egypt's ousted president arrives at police academy courthouse for retrial, but judges adjourns hearing minutes after it began, ruling to change case's venue, after prosecution demand his recuse

It was suppose to the first of many hearings in former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's retrial, but only a few minutes after its opening, the judged ruled to move the case from his court room to that of an appellate court. The decision caused an uproar in the court, which ended in light clashes between Mubarak supporters and families of protests who died during the uprising.


The judge, Mostafa Hassan, recused himself and referred the new case to an appeals court, after civil prosecutors demanded the case be heard by another judge, citing the judge's pro-Mubarak history.


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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 on during the 18-day revolt that led to Mubarak's ouster.


מובארק היום בקהיר (AFP)

Mubarak at retrail (Photo: AFP)


Mubarak, who had not been seen in public since his initial conviction in June 2012, waved from his wheelchair inside the courtroom's defendant cage.


To reach what was assumed to be the beginning of his much anticipated retrial, Mubarak was airlifted to the court from a Cairo hospital. His two sons Alaa and Gamal and his former interior minister Habib al-Adly, currently held in prison for separate cases, were also present in the courtroom cage.


According to Egyptian television the former president, who wore dark tinted shades, was in good spirits.


Mubarak and al-Adly were convicted on June 2 2012 for involvement in the deaths of protesters on January 25, and in addition to them, also standing trial were six police generals. Five face the same charges as Mubarak while the sixth is accused of gross negligence.


All six were acquitted in the first trial, but are being tried again. The call for a retrial was filed both by Mubarak and the civil prosecution.


Watch Mubarak's arrival


Egyptian paper Al Ahram quoted senior security sources in Egypt's interior ministry as claiming that the security arrangements for Mubarak's retrial were unprecedented, with the interior minister himself supervising over the operation.


As part of the security detail, cameras were spread around Cairo's police academy courthouse and within it, and the paper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that more than 3,000 security forces were present in and around the courthouse, in addition to more than 150 armored cars allocated for their use.


The process of transporting the accused began at around 7 am, Al Ahram reported, when Mubarak was taken via helicopter from the Al-Maadi military hospital to the police academy courthouse. He was escorted by his son, Gamal, who is currently by his hospital bedside. Afterwards, the two arrived at the courthouse itself in an ambulance protected by 5 armored vehicles and 15 police cars.


Former interior minister al-Adly and Mubarak's second son Alaa arrived in a separate convoy; they rode in an armored vehicle surrounded by 10 police cars.


The additional defendants, who were acquitted during the previous trial, arrived independently.


The massive security presence was intended not only for the safety of the defendants, but also for the managing - and possibly the dispersing - of large crowds which arrived in support of both sides.


In the past, clashes have broken out between the protester's families and Mubarak supporters, and security forces were needed to separate the sides and restore order.


Pro-Mubarak supports calling themselves "We're sorry President" have been preparing for the retrial for sometime, and came to express their support for the former leader in the shape of banners and songs.


In the meantime, Egyptian media reported that Mubarak's wife, Suzanne Mubarak, visited the former president Friday after he had received a haircut and had his hair dyed black in anticipation of the retrial.


Mubarak's lawyer, Farid el-Deeb spoke to the Qatar based A-Sharq newspaper and said: "The allegations against Mubarak are baseless." According to him these are insignificant charges whose sole intention is to keep Mubarak behind bars. He slammed the ruling Muslim Brotherhood for "using every mean to exact revenge on the former regime."


The associated press also contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 04.13.13, 14:07
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