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In a cage, Mubarak faces trial for murder

Last updated on: August 3, 2011 15:08 IST

In a cage, Mubarak faces trial for murder

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Five months after a popular uprising ousted him from nearly three decades of absolute power, deposed president Hosni Mubarak was flown into Cairo on Wednesday to face trial for murder and corruption.

He has been charged with conspiring to kill protesters and corruption. The trial opened amidst clashes between hundreds of his supporters and opponents outside the courtroom.

The trial turned into a stormy affair, with violent clashes reported outside the police academy, where the proceedings are being held. Mubarak, 81, could face execution if found guilty.


Image: Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in the courtroom for his trial at the police academy in Cairo
Photographs: Reuters
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'Death for the dictator'

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Nearly 50 pro-Mubarak supporters, holding his giant photograph afloat, declared "we will burn the prison, if they convict Mubarak".

His opponents, who outnumbered his supporters, shouted back "death for the dictator".

The police, backed by armoured cars, kept the clashing public far away from the courtroom.

Mubarak was flown in from the Red Sea resort town of Sharam el-Sheikh by a helicopter. He was brought to the courtroom on a stretcher with an intravenous drip, the state television reported.


Image: A supporter of former Egypt president Hosni Mubarak holds a poster of him outside the police academy
Photographs: Mohamed Abd El-Ghany/Reuters
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Mubarak first Arab ruler to face trial

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The television showed him lying on a hospital bed inside a mesh cage in the Cairo courtroom.

He became the first Arab ruler in modern times to be put in the dock. His trial has rattled Arab rulers -- monarchs and presidents -- who have long held sway over most of the Muslim nations in the region.

The prosecuting judge has ordered the proceedings to be telecast live on national television.


Image: Supporters of Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak take cover during clashes
Photographs: Mohamed Abd El-Ghany/Reuters
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Mubarak's sons also in the dock

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Mubarak's two sons Alaa and Gamal and his infamous interior minister Habib-al-Adil are also facing charges of corruption, the state television reported.

Authorities have erected a special wired mesh cage from where Mubarak and his entourage would depose.

A fence has been set up through the middle of the court chamber to separate Mubarak from the families of protesters killed in the uprising.


Image: Gamal and Alaa Mubarak in the courtroom during their trial at the police academy in Cairo
Photographs: Reuters
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Mubarak also faces charges of corruption

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The official death toll in the revolution has been ascertained at 846. Nearly 1,400 people lost their eyes as a result of being hit by rubber bullets.

In a separate case that will also be reviewed on Wednesday, Mubarak, along with his two sons and fugitive businessman Hussen Salem, is facing charges of corruption and amassing wealth illegally as well as selling natural gas to Israel at a price much lower than the international one.

Mubarak, who ruled with an iron fist for nearly three decades, is under arrest in a hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh since April. He has been receiving treatment for a heart condition.


Image: Protesters throw stones outside the police academy
Photographs: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
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