Hosni Mubarak leaves hospital for trial in Cairo
Published 03/08/2011 | 08:27
The trial of Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak (83) was taking place under tight security in Cairo today.
Mr Mubarak had been hospitalised in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh with heart problems since he was ousted in February.
He was today transferred by plane to the capital where the trial was being held at the police academy.
Outside the academy, hundreds of police and army troops backed by armoured personnel carriers were keeping about 50 Mubarak supporters at bay.
"We will demolish and burn the prison if they convict Mubarak," the protesters screamed.
There was uncertainty up to the moment he left the hospital for the airport in a six-car convoy that he would actually appear for the opening of his trial.
The trial is a response to growing cries in Egypt for justice not only for the wrongs of his authoritarian regime which ruled Egypt for three decades but also for the violent suppression of largely peaceful protests during the 18-day uprising.
Mubarak, who ruled with unquestioned power for 29 years, is expected to appear during the trial sitting in a cage set up for him and his co-defendants, including his two sons and his former interior minister. The charges could bring a death sentence, traditionally carried out by hanging.
The courtroom has been set up in what was once the Mubarak Police Academy - one of the multiple security, military and other civil buildings named after the president, though since he was ousted his name has been dropped.
Security is very heavy, with barbed wire and hundreds of troops around the compound. Efforts have been made to ensure spectators in the court cannot get close enough to the defendants' cage to yell and throw objects at them, the Interior Ministry said.