Toppled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak (Reuters)
Tens of protesters calling on Egyptian authorities not to put ousted president Hosni Mubarak on trial congregated in front of the state radio and television building before an anti-Mubarak march arrived on the scene and a verbal exchange between the sides ensued.
Mubarak, who was toppled on 11 February following an 18-day uprising, and who has been remanded in police custody despite his deteriorating health condition, is being investigated on multiple charges of illicit profiteering and ordering the killing of protesters during the 25 January Revolution.
In spite of the allegations against him, a small group chanted pro-Mubarak slogans at the state radio and television building in Maspero, saying the former commander-in-chief should not appear before a court of law.
“Wake up Egypt’s youth! Hosni Mubarak is like your father!” was one of the slogans the pro-Mubarak protesters repeated.
On the other side of the street rallied a group of anti-Mubarak voices chanting a very different set of slogans.
“A thief, a thief, Mubarak is a thief!” and “You don’t deserve to be in Sharm El-Sheikh. Tora Prison is the right place for you!” were among other slogans chanted by the anti-Mubarak march.
Eventually, the parties started a verbal exchange with each other, which urged military forces to surround them and place barbed wire between them to keep them separated and to avoid an escalation.
Mubarak, 82, was initially being held in Sharm El-Sheikh International Hospital and should soon be moved to the military-affiliated International Medical Centre on the outskirts of Cairo.
His interrogation is still underway and he is expected to be tried soon.