CAIRO // Hosni Mubarak's chief defence lawyer portrayed the ousted Egyptian president as a "clean" leader who placed the law above all else and worked tirelessly for his nation.
Farid El Deeb's opening statements to the court also sought to paint a picture of the 83-year-old Mubarak as a victim of malicious accusations while his health was failing. He was looking to the court for justice, Mr El Deeb said.
Mubarak is charged with complicity in the killing of hundreds of protesters during an 18-day uprising that toppled his 29-year authoritarian regime last February. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
Mr El Deed said there is no evidence Mubarak ordered security forces to fire on protesters. He cited what he said was testimony by Egypt's military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, and the former spy chief, Omar Suleiman, in defence of Mubarak, who appeared in court on a stretcher.
"There is no evidence to prove that Mubarak gave orders to open fire on the protesters," said Mr El Deeb.
Lawyers for families of those killed and wounded have argued even if Mubarak did not issue orders to shoot, he failed to give orders to stop the killing.
The prosecution later delivered a harsh assessment of Mubarak's rule, saying he was responsible for the killings and that he devoted the last 10 years in power to ensure his son, banker-turned-politician Gamal, would succeed him.
Mubarak and his two sons - Alaa and Gamal - also face corruption charges. All three were in court.
* Associated Press with additional reporting by Agence France-Presse