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Sunday 21 September 2014

Ousted Mubarak defends his rule

Published 13/08/2014 | 13:20

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Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is being retried over charges of failing to stop killings of protesters during the 2011 uprising (AP)

Egypt's deposed president Hosni Mubarak has denied ordering protesters to be killed during an uprising in 2011, in his first lengthy speech to a court as his year-old retrial draws to an end.

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The 86-year-old Mubarak spoke from a gurney inside a cage that holds defendants, listing the achievements of his 29-year rule.

He says he gave up power voluntarily in 2011 for Egypt to avert an "abyss".

Wearing a blue suit, he said: "Mohammed Hosni Mubarak would never order the killing of protesters... or shedding the blood of Egyptians."

Mubarak is serving a three-year sentence in a separate corruption case.

He was found guilty in June 2012 and sentenced to life imprisonment but won a retrial, which began in April 2013.

The final verdict will be issued on September 27, the judge said.

Echoing a narrative adopted by many of the men from his regime, Mubarak said that the 2011 protests had been taken over by "exploiters of religion inside and outside the country" who steered the demonstrations to violence.

Such language is frequently used by Mubarak-era media men and officials to refer to the Muslim Brotherhood group, whose leader Mohammed Morsi became Mubarak's successor in the country's first free elections in 2012.

A year later, the military overthrew Morsi after millions staged demonstrations against him demanding him to resign for what they called abuse of power.

"The wheel of history doesn't go backwards," said the ageing Mubarak, who added this would likely be his last speech before his death. "No-one can fabricate history."

Press Association

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