x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Mubarak may have stomach cancer, says his lawyer

Defence lawyer asks Egypt's prosecutor general to allow a German surgeon to visit Mubarak, who is scheduled to face trial on August 3 over allegations that he ordered the killing of protesters during the mass demonstrations against his regime, for a medical check-up.

CAIRO // The ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak may have cancer, his defence lawyer said yesterday, say there was "evidence suggesting" the 83-year-old former leader was sick with stomach cancer.

Mr Mubarak, who was toppled on February 11 by an 18-day popular uprising, has been hospitalised with heart troubles since April in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh. He is scheduled to face trial on August 3 over allegations that he ordered the killing of protesters during the mass demonstrations against his regime. If convicted, he could be sentenced to death.

Mr Mubarak's lawyer, Farid El Deeb, also said Mr Mubarak underwent "critical surgery" in Germany last year, during which his gallbladder and part of his pancreas were removed.

Mr El Deeb said he had asked Egypt's prosecutor general to allow the German surgeon to visit Mr Mubarak for a medical check-up. He said the prosecutor general referred the request to the military council, which took over power after Mr Mubarak's departure. No decision has been made yet.

Mr Mubarak's prosecution has been complicated by concerns over his health. The ex-leader has been questioned in the hospital, but an order from prosecutors to transfer him to a Cairo prison during the investigation was overturned on the grounds that the health facilities there were not sufficient to treat Mr Mubarak's ailments.

Even the location of the former president's trial remains unclear after a report in May by a government-appointed panel of physicians determined that he was too ill to be jailed in prison while awaiting his appearance in court.

At least 846 protesters were killed during the 18-day revolt, which brought an end to Mr Mubarak's 29-year rule.

The charges against Mr Mubarak assert he conspired with the former security chief and other senior police officers already on trial in a criminal court "to commit premeditated murder, along with attempted murder of those who participated in the peaceful protests around Egypt".

The charges said Mr Mubarak and the other officials were involved in "inciting some policemen and officers to shoot the victims, running some of them over to kill them, and terrorising others".