Victims' relatives outside the Mubarak trial courtroom. (File Photo: Mai Shaheen)
A Cairo criminal court has adjourned the ongoing trial of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to Wednesday, 22 February, after hearing the prosecution’s comments on the defence team's closing arguments.
State prosecutor Mostafa Soliman responded to earlier assertions by Mubarak lawyer Farid El-Deeb that the ousted president was still technically Egypt's head of state, saying that Egypt's revolution had effectively stripped Mubarak of his presidential authority.
Soliman also accused the interior ministry of failing to help prosecutors determine who was responsible for killing unarmed protesters during last year's Tahrir Square uprising. The ministry, Soliman charged, had also failed to produce sufficient evidence in the case.
Prosecutors had earlier accused Egyptian security forces of not cooperating with investigations into the murder of Al-Ahram journalist Ahmed Mahmoud, who was killed in the early days of the 18-day uprising.
Prosecutors revealed that, before his death, Mahmoud had recorded video footage on his mobile phone showing a suspected shooter from the security forces. Prosecutors complain that the interior ministry had failed to help them locate the individual in question.
Prosecutors also said that investigations had failed to confirm the involvement of foreign nations or groups – including Iran, Israel, Hezbollah and Hamas – in killing protesters during last year's uprising, as had been alleged by defence lawyers. Hezbollah and Hamas, prosecutors noted, had only been involved in the escape of their members from Egyptian prisons.
Regarding the multiple corruption charges faced by Mubarak and his sons, Soliman accused El-Deeb of forging documents in an effort to prove Mubarak's innocence from bribery allegations.
Presiding Judge Ahmed Rafaat has reportedly asked the defence team to present its comments in writing after hearing the prosecution's closing arguments.
On 22 February, Rafaat is expected to announce the date on which a final verdict in the case will be delivered.
Mubarak, former interior minister Habib El-Adli and six of the latter's assistants stand accused of shooting protesters in the early days of last year's revolution. Mubarak, along with his two sons and runaway businessman Hussein Salem, also face a host of corruption charges.