Key witness claims Mubarak did not order police to fire on protesters
THE key prosecution witness in the trial of ousted Egyptian ex-president Hosni Mubarak has testified that police were not ordered to fire on protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
This was a direct contradiction of the prosecutors' central claim.
The police general's statement could damage the prosecution's case that Mr Mubarak and his security chief gave the green light to police to use lethal force to crush the uprising, during which at least 850 people were killed.
Prosecution lawyers were visibly stunned by the testimony of the witness, General Hussein Moussa, and accused him of changing his story from the affidavit he initially gave prosecutors.
Many Egyptians have been crying out for the conviction -- and even execution -- of Mr Mubarak (83) to avenge not only the deaths but also the corruption, police abuse and other oppression during his nearly 30-year rule.
Mr Mubarak is charged with corruption and with complicity in the killings of protesters during the 18-day uprising that led to his February 11 fall from power. On trial with him are his sons, Gamal and Alaa, and his former interior minister Habib el-Adly and six top police officers.