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Retrial of Mubarak, sons, ex-interior minister postponed to June

Proceedings in retrial of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, his two sons, and former interior minister Habib El-Adly - who face charges of murder, illicit gains - are postponed to next month

Ahram Online, MENA, Saturday 11 May 2013
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Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak lays on a gurney inside a barred cage in the police academy courthouse in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo: AP)

Presiding judge Mahmoud Kamel El-Rashidi on Saturday announced that proceedings in the retrial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, his two sons, former interior minister Habib El-Adly, and six of the latter's top aides would be postponed until 8 June to allow the court to review some 55,000 pages of documentation.

In Saturday's session, the defendants denied all charges.

Mubarak, his two sons, El-Adly, and six of the latter's top aides were present at the Police Academy in the capital's New Cairo district on Saturday morning where they face retrial for a handful of charges, Egyptian state news agency MENA has reported. 

Mubarak, who received a life sentence in June 2012 for failing to protect unarmed anti-regime protesters during Egypt's 18-day popular uprising in early 2011, was granted a retrial in January due to procedural irregularities in the initial trial.

The defendants have been charged in three separate cases: the killing of protesters during the uprising, illicit gains, and exporting natural gas to Israel at below-market prices.

Judge El-Rashidi adjourned the initial proceedings for half an hour on Saturday to hear requests by both legal teams.  

El-Rashidi began proceedings by calling upon the plaintiffs' lawyers to maintain calm in the courtroom and prepare their requests.

Ahmed El-Damaty, deputy head of the Egyptian Lawyer's Union, complained against the treatment that he claims the plaintiffs' lawyers received, saying that the "defendants' lawyers enter [Police Academy grounds] in private cars, while [plaintiffs' lawyers] had to stand on foot, arguing with security to allow them in."

El-Rashidi called upon the lawyers of the more than 1700 plaintiffs to register with the court to facilitate access procedures.

According to MENA, the number of people standing outside the academy on Saturday was lower than in previous trial sessions. Security forces have separated the former president's supporters from the families of protesters slain during the uprising.

In April, Judge Mustafa Hassan Abdullah, who had been presiding over the retrial, recused himself from the case and referred it to the Cairo Appeal Court.

Judge Mahmoud Kamel El-Rashidi was chosen to preside over the trial instead.

A court had earlier ordered Mubarak's release pending retrial, but he remains in detention for two separate corruption charges.  

A Cairo court on Sunday upheld a 15-day detention order against Mubarak, which he had appealed, in relation to a corruption case brought against him by the Illicit Gains Authority. Both his sons, Alaa and Gamal, are on trial with him in the case. 

The 84-year-old former president is also being held for another corruption case in which he faces charges of illegally acquiring state funds allocated to the renovation of presidential palaces.

Mubarak is currently in Tora Prison Hospital in Cairo after Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah ordered his transfer there from Maadi Military Hospital.

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