Mubarak trial delayed 1 week; Anan summoned for questioning

Wednesday 28 Dec 2011

Prosecution calls Army Chief-of-Staff Sami Anan to testify; Defence summons intel chief Mourad Mouafi to the stand

Former interior minister and key Mubarak regime figure Habib El-Adly stands behind bars in trial with the ousted president in earlier, televised courtroom session in August (photo:Reuters)

The ongoing trial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, his two ‎sons, former minister of interior Habib El-Adly, and several of the ‎latter’s assistants was postponed on Wednesday to 2 January.‎

Trial proceedings had recommenced Wednesday morning ‎following a three-month hiatus with all defendants in attendance. ‎The men face charges of ordering the killing of unarmed ‎protesters during Egypt’s January uprising, along with a host of ‎corruption allegations.‎

At Wednesday's session, lawyers for the families of slain ‎protesters insisted on summoning Army Chief-of-Staff Sami ‎Anan – who is also deputy head of Egypt’s ruling military council ‎‎– as a key witness. ‎

Anan had originally been scheduled to deliver testimony in late ‎September, but his deposition was delayed after lawyers for the ‎prosecution filed a motion against presiding Judge Ahmed ‎Refaat, who, they claimed, was biased in the defendants’ ‎favour. Cairo’s Court of Appeals, however, rejected the motion ‎earlier this month, meaning that Refaat will stay on as chief ‎judge in the case.‎

Disagreements, meanwhile, have emerged over the decision to ‎try Mubarak and El-Adly in a single trial, with critics saying the ‎two should be tried separately. The two men had originally been ‎set to face separate trials until Refaat combined the two cases in ‎August, based on a request by one of the lawyers for the ‎prosecution.‎

At Wednesday’s session, chief lawyer for the prosecution ‎Sameh Ashour requested that the court question the director of ‎the Egyptian Museum. Surveillance cameras from the museum, ‎which is located adjacent to Tahrir Square, reportedly captured ‎video footage of police forces shooting unarmed protesters ‎during the January uprising. Lawyers for the prosecution, for ‎their part, say the footage was sabotaged at the trial’s outset.‎

Prosecution lawyers also raised objections to the presence of ‎five Kuwaiti attorneys who have volunteered to defend the ‎ousted president in court. Lawyers called for the foreign ‎attorneys’ removal, on grounds that there were enough qualified ‎Egyptian lawyers on the defence team. They stressed that all ‎parties in the case were Egyptian nationals and should therefore ‎be represented by Egyptian lawyers. ‎

Lawyers for El-Adly, meanwhile, asked to see police reports on ‎recent violent confrontations between demonstrators and ‎security forces, including the 9 October clashes in Cairo’s ‎Mapero district, the November clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud ‎Street, and clashes earlier this month outside Egypt’s Cabinet ‎building.‎

El-Adly's defence team also asked that Egyptian intelligence ‎chief Mourad Mouafi, along with other top security officials, be ‎summoned for questioning. Defence lawyers believe these ‎security officials may have information regarding "foreign ‎elements" that had allegedly instigated violence during the ‎January uprising.‎

Meanwhile, the families of slain protesters gathered outside ‎Police Academy headquarters in Cairo, with some carrying signs ‎demanding Mubarak's execution. A group of Mubarak ‎supporters also appeared outside the premises in a show of ‎support for the ousted president.‎

During the January uprising 846 were killed and some around 11,000 injured.

Short link: