Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak (Photo: AP)
Farid El-Deeb, lawyer for the Hosny Mubarak and his two sons, began his defence by directing an attack at the prosecution’s “inappropriate behaviour.”
In the first day of the defence's presentation of its case, El-Deeb criticised the prosecution for the manner in which they proceeded with the case against the ousted president, accusing them of being inappropriate and offensive to Mubarak and his family.
Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal arrived earlier today on Tuesday at the Police Academy, serving as the courthouse, to attend another session of what Egyptian media refer to as the “trial of the century.” For the first time since the trial commenced last August Mubarak was sitting on a wheelchair rather than lying on a hospital bed.
The Mubaraks are being tried along with former interior minister Habib El-Adly and six of the former minister's assistants on charges of the killing of peaceful protesters during the 18-day uprising that ousted the president in early 2011. The former ruling family also face charges of corruption.
The lawyer began his defence by saying that the prosecution focused on Mubarak’s plans to transfer power to his younger son Gamal, which is not one of the crimes he is being tried for. El-Deeb also accused the prosecution of insulting Mubarak’s wife Suzanne Mubarak, even though she is not a defendant, which hurt the feelings of her husband and two sons, Alaa and Gamal.
El-Deeb continued his defence by saying that the ousted president had supported the efforts to realise the independence of the judiciary and that he had also issued Law 4 of 1968 which provided immunity for the prosecutor-general and the prosecution, as well as supporting the Supreme Council of the Judiciary giving it the authority it needs to implement its decisions.
The lawyer also spoke to the court about Mubarak’s achievements, pointing out that the fallen leader worked hard to make Egypt better and was always concerned about the Egyptian people and their problems. Mubarak, El-Deeb stressed, was a fair man who is not bloodthirsty or despotic and nobody has the right to tarnish his honourable past.
El-Deeb also said that the prosecution has failed to provide sufficient evidence to condemn Mubarak. He also referred to previous statements by Mubarak’s former director of intelligence Omar Suleiman who had revealed that the ousted president never gave orders to shoot the protesters and only asked them to disperse the protests using sticks, water hoses and tear gas.
Mubarak, El-Deeb went on to stress, never planned to continue his 30-year rule or run for another term in office, stepping down willingly without being forced to do so by the army as many people believe.
During the session several arguments broke out between El-Deeb and the lawyers presenting the revolution’s martyrs. The Cairo Criminal Court terminated proceedings on Tuesday and the trial will resume on Wednesday.