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Egypt Court Breaks Up Mubarak's Political Party

Army soldiers march in front of the burned down building of former President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party in Cairo, Egypt, February 15, 2011

An Egyptian court has ordered the dissolution of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's political party, with confiscation of its assets.

The court order announced Saturday meets a key demand by leaders of the protest movement that forced Mubarak's out of office three months ago.

The National Democratic Party has dominated Egyptian politics for decades. Founded by former President Anwar Sadat in the late 1970s, the party became a focal point of discontent in recent months and years, and its headquarters in the capital was set afire during this year's mass protests.

Mubarak's opponents often accused the party of corrupt practices that reinforced his hold on power and siphoned off state revenues.

The former president is now the target of a wide-ranging corruption investigation. He was hospitalized with heart problems on Tuesday, interrupting a round of questioning, but state-run media say his health has since improved. He is expected to be moved from his hospital room in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to a secure facility or prison under military control.

Mubarak says he is innocent of all charges of corruption and abuse of power. He stepped down as president on February 11, after ruling continuously since October 1981, when former president Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists.

Mubarak suffered a minor wound during the attack that killed his predecessor. He had been Sadat's vice president since 1975, and before that had a military career in which he rose to commander in chief of Egypt's air force. He will be 83 years old on May 4.

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

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