Prosecution to begin its argument Tuesday in Mubarak trial

Prosecution to begin its argument Tuesday in Mubarak trial

Egyptian judges will begin hearing arguments by prosecutors on Tuesday in the trial of former president Hosny Mubarak, who faces charges ordering to kill hundreds of protesters in the uprising that forced him out of power, dpa reported.

The prosecution will give its argument over three days, state media reported.

During Monday's session, lawyers of the families of victims demanded that Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, the head of the ruling military council, be summoned to testify again.

Lawyers also demanded that Chief of Staff Sami Anan be summoned for testimony.

Tantawi testified during a behind-closed-door session in September. Lawyers of the victims have accused the court panel of being biased to Mubarak and the other defendants, after several of the lawyers were prevented from entering the courtroom for the session.

After Tantawi's testimony, lawyers demanded a new panel of judges, accusing them of bias towards Mubarak and other defendants. Their request was rejected in December.

Mubarak, former interior minister Habib al-Adli and six former security aides face the death penalty if convicted.

On Monday, Mubarak - who has been held at a military medical centre outside Cairo since August - was wheeled into the court on a hospital bed.

Dozens of people gathered outside the police academy building, on the outskirts of Cairo, where the trial is being held. Some were chanting anti-Mubarak slogans and holding Egyptian flags.

A large police presence separated supporters and opponents of Mubarak. The trial has led to some violence between the two sides since it began on August 3.

Relatives of the victims have had their hopes crushed by the testimonies of several witnesses who mostly denied that there were orders to shoot protesters.

They were also angered when a court on Thursday acquitted five policemen who were accused of killing protesters during the popular protests earlier this year.

The court said that the policemen had acted in self-defence after they were attacked on January 28 in Cairo's working-class district of al-Sayeda Zeinab.

Mubarak, his sons, Alaa and Gamal, and Hussein Salem, a fugitive businessman, also face charges of corruption and of wasting public funds. They are accused of selling Egyptian exports to Israel at prices lower than the market value.

All the defendants have pleaded not guilty.

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