Egypt prepares for third session of ex-president's trial

Egypt prepares for third session of ex-president's trial

The third session of trial of Egyptian ex-president Hosni Mubarak and his sons will be held in Cairo on Monday, but it will not be broadcast live by Egyptian TV channels, RIA Novosti reported.

The hearings are due to focus on Mubarak's violent crackdown on Cairo protests on January 25. Other charges against the former president include abuse of office to illegally amass wealth, but they are unlikely to be heard during Monday's session.

Mubarak will be flown from hospital in a military helicopter, and his sons Alaa and Gamal will be taken from the Tora prison on the outskirts of Cairo in armored cars. The trial is to begin at 9:00 local time (7:00 GMT).

The country's former Egyptian interior minister Habib al-Adly and his six aides will also be taken to court. The ex-minister was already sentenced to 12 years in prison for embezzling state funds, and now stands his second trial on charges of ordering to shoot at demonstrators during the February uprising. Both Mubarak and al-Adly face death penalty if found guilty.

The main issue discussed in the media ahead of the hearings is the 83-year-old leader's health. Doctors of the military hospital in which Mubarak is being held said their patient suffered high temperature, caused by an internal inflammation process, in the past days.

However, according to media reports, Mubarak's health improved after antibiotic treatment, and nothing prevents him from appearing at Monday's trial.

The identities of prosecution witnesses to stand in court on Monday have been kept secret, but Egyptian media reported over the weekend that four security officers are ready to testify against Mubarak.

Prosecutors say they gathered solid evidence in the case against former state leaders, but Mubarak's wife Suzanne Thabet said the defense lawyers will be able to prove the defendants' innocence on all charges.

On Friday the number of lawyers defending the ousted Egyptian leader has reached 1,700 after a group of Kuwaiti lawyers joined his defense team. Judge Ahmed Rifaat said only 50 of Mubarak's lawyers will be allowed to attend the session.

A security source told Al-Masry Al-Youm that police outside the court building would separate supporters of Mubarak and the acting government with police cordons to avoid clashes. Sniffer dogs and metal detectors will also be placed around the Police Academy in Cairo, where the trial is being held.

Mubarak stepped down on February 11 after 18 days of large-scale anti-government protests that broke out in Cairo and quickly spread throughout Egypt, leaving more than 350 people dead and about 5,500 injured.

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