Egyptian protesters question reports on Mubarak's health

Egyptian protesters question reports on Mubarak's health

An Egyptian protest group said Monday that reports claiming former president Hosny Mubarak is seriously ill are aimed at "misleading the public" and gaining sympathy for him.

"Such reports attempt to circumvent Egyptians' demand that Mubarak be put on a public trial," said Mohamed Adel, a spokesman for April 6, a key protest movement, DPA reported.

"They seek to win sympathy for him as the date of his trial is coming nearer."

Mubarak's lawyer Farid al-Diba was Sunday quoted in media reports as saying the ousted president had lapsed into a coma.

State television meanwhile quoted the director of the hospital, where Mubarak is being treated, as denying the lawyer's report.

The hospital director said Mubarak had low blood pressure, but was in a stable condition.

Mubarak and his sons, Gamal and Alaa, are scheduled to face trial on August 3 on charges of corruption and their alleged role in the deaths of pro-democracy protesters.

"We are in the process of setting up a committee of medical specialists from among activists and demand they be allowed to examine Mubarak," Adel of the April 6 group told the German Press Agency dpa.

Mubarak, 83, has been in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh since April 12 when he reportedly suffered a heart attack during an interrogation.

In June, al-Dib, the lawyer, said that Mubarak might be suffering from stomach cancer, and requested that his German doctor be allowed to examine him.

Mubarak underwent surgery in Heidelberg, Germany, last year to remove his gallbladder.

Mubarak was forced to step down on February 11 after an 18-day nationwide uprising in which an estimated 850 people were killed and more than 6,000 injured.

Protesters have been calling for swift trials and faster reforms, and accuse the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which is now running the country, of trying to protect Mubarak from prosecution.

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