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Families, Activists Disrupt Trial of Former Egyptian Minister

Egyptian policemen line the street as an armored army vehicle guards a convoy carrying former Egyptian interior minister Habib el-Adly and his aides, as they arrive at the court in Cairo, May 21, 2011

Scuffles broke out in an Egyptian courtroom Saturday forcing a judge to postpone the trial of a former interior minister who is accused in the killings pro-democracy demonstrators.

Witnesses say the fights erupted during Habib el-Adly's trial when police confronted activists and the families of victims who were trying to push their way into the courtroom. The Associated Press says some family members shouted "Butcher!" at el-Adly.

The judge at the court near Cairo postponed the proceeding for el-Adly and at least four of his aides until June 26.

El-Adly served as former president Hosni Mubarak's interior minister. He is the most senior former regime official to be tried so far in connection with the killings of pro-democracy demonstrators. Some of Mubarak's opponents believe el-Adly gave direct orders to police to use live rounds on anti-government demonstrators.

In April, a state-appointed fact-finding mission determined that nearly 850 protesters were killed in the unrest leading up to Mubarak's February resignation. The group said 26 police officers were also killed.

An Egyptian court has already sentenced el-Adly to 12 years in prison for corruption.

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

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