News / Africa

Egypt's Mubarak Pleads 'Not Guilty' in Historic Trial

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is seen in the courtroom for his trial at the Police Academy in Cairo, August 3, 2011.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is seen in the courtroom for his trial at the Police Academy in Cairo, August 3, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

Egypt's deposed president, Hosni Mubarak, wheeled into a Cairo courtroom in a hospital bed, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he ordered the killing of some 850 revolutionary protesters who drove him from power in an 18-day February uprising. After Wednesday's dramatic session, the judge in the case adjourned the trial until August 15.

The 83-year-old former president, who also is charged with corruption, is the first Arab leader to face trial in person since the so-called "Arab Spring" of popular revolts swept across much of North Africa and the Middle East this year.

Mr. Mubarak's two sons, Alaa and Gamal - co-defendants in the case - stood next to their father inside the courtroom's large metal cage and spoke with him during the opening session. Both men denied separate corruption charges against them. Other defendants include Mr. Mubarak's former interior minister, Habib al-Adly, six senior police commanders and a prominent businessman (Hussein Salem), who is being tried in absentia. They are scheduled to appear before the court again Thursday.

Mr. Mubarak, al-Adly and the six policemen could be sentenced to death if convicted. The former president also is charged with abuse of power and squandering public wealth.

The trial took an unexpected turn when Mr. Mubarak's lawyers requested that the head of the military council now ruling Egypt, a former intelligence chief and 1,600 others testify. They argued that Egypt's army chief and head of state, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, effectively "took control" of the country after January 28, when troops were deployed in the streets of Cairo.

News channels around the world broadcast the start of the historic trial. Tens of millions throughout the Arab world watched the spectacle on live television, including many Egyptians who saw their ruler of nearly 30 years clad in a prisoner's white robes and reclining on a gurney.

Crowds also gathered outside the courthouse to watch on a large television screen. At one point, supporters and opponents of Mr. Mubarak threw rocks at one another.

Egypt's judiciary moved the location of the trial to the Cairo Police Academy for security reasons.

The former president had been living under house arrest with his family at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where aides say he has been in poor health since leaving office.  At the close of Wednesday's session, the judge ordered that Mr. Mubarak stay at a local hospital in Cairo for the duration of the proceedings.

The trial came only after heavy pressure from activists on Egypt's ruling military council. Up to the last minute, many Egyptians had doubted Mr. Mubarak would actually appear in court, expecting health issues would be used as an excuse for him to stay away.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid