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Mubarak Faces Final Retrial Over Deaths of Protesters in 2011 Uprising

FILE - Ousted President Hosni Mubarak waves to supporters outside his hospital room where he awaits his final retrial for the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising, Cairo, Oct. 6, 2015. (H.Elrasam/VOA)

Egypt's top court on Thursday will again bring former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to trial over the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year rule.

This will be the second and final retrial for Mubarak over the killings in which he is alleged to have conspired. It was originally scheduled to take place in November but was postponed by the Cassation Court and ordered to be moved from the High Court building in the center of Cairo to a more "suitable location."

Mubarak, 87, was originally sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for conspiring to murder 239 demonstrators, sowing chaos and creating a security vacuum during an 18-day revolt which began in January 2011, but a retrial was ordered on appeal.

In that retrial, an Egyptian court in November dropped its case against him but public prosecutors appealed.

Charges slowly being cleared

Mubarak-era figures are slowly being cleared of charges and a series of laws limiting political freedoms have raised fears that the old leadership is regaining influence.

Many Egyptians who lived through Mubarak's rule view it as a period of autocracy and crony capitalism. His overthrow led to Egypt's first free election, which brought in Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

But Mursi only lasted a year in office after mass protests against his rule in 2013 prompted then military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to take power. Sisi went on to win a presidential election last year.

He has since cracked down on Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood and thousands of Brotherhood supporters have been jailed.