x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Hosni Mubarak's trial set for next Wednesday in Cairo

Former Egyptian president will appear with his two sons on charges of stealing millions of dollars from the state and ordering a crackdown that killed more than 800 protesters before his overthrow.

CAIRO // The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on charges of stealing millions of dollars from the state and ordering a crackdown that killed more than 800 protesters during last winter's uprising will begin on Wednesday in Cairo, the official news agency announced yesterday.

The trial will be held in the General Authority for Investment building located in the Cairo Expo grounds, the Middle East News Agency quoted an unnamed justice ministry official as saying.

Mr Mubarak, 83, who ruled Egypt for almost three decades, will stand trial with his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, and his former minister of interior, Habib Adli, who are imprisoned in the Egyptian capital. If found guilty, he could receive the death penalty.

Mr Mubarak's transfer to Cairo was a key demand of protesters whose relations with the ruling military and government have grown increasingly strained in recent weeks.

The former Egyptian leader has been under arrest in hospital in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. The head of the medical team supervising his treatment said on Tuesday that Mr Mubarak was in "almost stable" condition, though suffering from "severe depression". He suffered a heart attack in April.

The physician, Assem Azzam, said the former president was "in a very bad psychological state. There's severe depression". A day later, Egypt's health minister declared Mr Mubarak healthy enough to be moved.

The charges of financial crimes allege that Mr Mubarak hid a fortune of at least US$470 million (Dh1.7bn) in international bank accounts. Much of it is said to have been amassed beginning in the 1990s, when party officials and businessmen profited from privatisation and the regime's appetite for real estate.

* Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse