Mubarak in full coma, claims his lawyer
EGYPTIAN former President Hosni Mubarak, due to stand trial in August, is in a coma, his lawyer claimed last night.
However, state television said the hospital director had denied the report. Another doctor confirmed Mr Mubarak (83) occasionally slipped into a coma but said his condition was now stable.
His health has been subject to frequent speculation in the Egyptian media, gaining momentum in the run-up to his August 3 trial.
Protesters have been camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square since July 8 and have protested in other Egyptian cities.
The former president faces charges of abuse of power and killing protesters. More than 840 were killed in the 18 days of demonstrations that led to his ousting on February 11.
"I was informed about the sudden deterioration in Mubarak's health and I am now on my way to Sharm el-Sheikh," Mr Mubarak's lawyer Farid el-Deeb said. "All that I know so far is that the president is in a full coma," he added.
Some Egyptians have questioned Mubarak's illness, seeing it as a ploy for the army to avoid putting on trial the decorated former air force commander who ruled Egypt for 30 years.
"The news that comes every now and then about him being in a bad condition is designed to gain people's sympathy, especially now with the public demanding he go to a jail in Cairo and face trial in Cairo, not in his hospital," political analyst and activist Hassan Nafaa said.
Mubarak had generally enjoyed good health in office.