Cairo: Deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was wheeled into a courtroom here today on a stretcher to face trial on charges of corruption and killing protesters, sought divine help as he held a copy of Holy Quran in his hand throughout the hearing.
83-year-old Mubarak, the first Arab ruler in modern times to be put in the dock, held a copy of Quran and appeared very much conscious of everything going on around him in the courtroom here.
If convicted, the former strongman could face the death penalty.
His sons – Alaa and Gamal- held his hand a number of times while he was in his gurney inside the dock before the beginning of the session.
Alaa handed a microphone to his father to answer the court’s question if he had committed the crimes mentioned in the committal order.
Mubarak pleaded not guilty to the premeditated murder of anti-regime protesters during the revolution.
Alaa and Gamal were attentive in the court and heard its proceedings closely. They also exchanged whispers during the proceedings of the trial. The pair also appeared to take turns to shield their father from the television cameras.
The bereaved families uttered insults in low voice when Mubarak and the rest of the defendants entered the dock, prompting the court’s president to issue strict instructions to abide by the rules of order.
Almost everyone in the court was astonished when one of the lawyers told the court that he suspected that Mubarak has been clinically dead since 2004.
After a four-hour hearing with two brief breaks, Chief Judge Ahmed Refaat decided to adjourn the trial until August 15 and said the former ruler would be moved to the International Medical Centre in Cairo from the hospital where he had been detained in Sharm el-Sheikh for four months.
The court also ordered that the Mubaraks be remanded in custody pending trial and that they be brought to the dock in the next session on August 15. Zeenews