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Egypt: Proceedings in Mubarak Trial Televised Live

(Aug. 8, 2011) On August 3, 2011, the Criminal Court of Cairo began the public trial for former President Hosni Mubarak, along with both of his sons. Mubarak was transferred by a military plane from a hospital in the resort of Sharm El Sheikh to the court room in Cairo, where he was placed on a hospital bed inside a cage. (Jeffrey Fleishman, Egypt Puts Mubarak, Bedridden and Caged, on Trial, LOS ANGELES TIMES (Aug. 3, 2011).) The trial took place in the Police Academy, due to the need for security precautions. The General Prosecutor charged Mubarak and both his children, Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, as well as his Minister of the Interior with murder and attempted murder. The General Prosecutor alleged that the former President and his sons conspired with the Minister of the Interior to use live ammunition against peaceful protestors in the period from January 28 through February 11, 2011. (Lina El-Wardani Dina Samak, Finally Egypt Sees Mubarak in a Cage, AHRAMONLINE (Aug. 3, 2011).)

Speaking before the court, Mubarak's lawyer refuted all allegations issued by the General Prosecutor on the ground of lack of evidence. He also requested that the court subpoena certain individuals to dispute the General Prosecutor's allegations. The court granted the request and ordered those individuals to attend the next hearing, to be cross- examined by both the defendant's lawyer and the prosecution. (Mubarak Trial Lawyers Want More Witnesses, ALJAZEERA (Aug. 3, 2011).) In a separate case, Mubarak and his sons are also charged with financial corruption, embezzlement of public money, and abuse of power to obtain elicit revenue. (Marcia Chen, Mubarak Denies Murder, Corruption Charges at Start of Trial, CITYNEWS (Toronto) (Aug. 3, 2011).)

Egyptian National TV had live coverage of the trial. For the first time in the history of the Egyptian justice system, the Supreme Council of the Judiciary allowed the media to broadcast a criminal trial live. (Chris Irvine & Tom Chivers, Hosni Mubarak Trial: As It Happened, THE TELEGRAPH (London) (Aug. 3, 2011).) The trial went on for almost three hours before the court adjourned for deliberations at 12:48 p.m. During the trial, 53 individuals outside the courtroom were injured in clashes between pro- and anti-Mubarak supporters. The two groups were hurling empty bottles and rocks at each other. (Manar Ammar, Update: 53 Injured at Egypt's Mubarak Trial as Defendants Plead Not Guilty, BIKYAMASR (Aug. 3, 2011).)