Egypt’s Mubarak back in court after release from jail

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 August, 2013, 3:43am


Former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak appeared in court for the first time since his release under house arrest, as a separate court adjourned a hearing of Muslim Brotherhood chiefs.

The hearings on Sunday come amid political uncertainty in the wake of the July 3 ousting of Islamist President Mohammed Mursi, followed by a crackdown on his Brotherhood movement.

Security sources said the Brotherhood defendants, including supreme guide Mohamed Badie and two deputies, were not brought to court because police feared protesters would attack the trucks taking them to prison.

The judge overseeing their trial for inciting the deaths of protesters adjourned the proceedings and asked the interior ministry to bring them to the next hearing on October 29.

Badie, along with deputies Khairat al-Shater and Rashad al-Bayoumi, faces charges related to the deaths of protesters who stormed the Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters on June 30. Security sources say at least 2,000 members of the Brotherhood have been arrested in recent days in a crackdown that has sent many more into hiding.

Shater's lawyer, Atef el-Galaly, insisted the charges against his client were political. "The whole case is fabricated. The charges aren't true at all," he said.

Three other Brotherhood members are standing trial with the leaders, accused of carrying out the murders at the end of June. Another 29 are also facing charges including "intimidating citizens" in relation to the same incident, which came as millions of Egyptians took to the streets to protest against Mursi's rule.

The session against the Brotherhood leaders came as Mubarak appeared in court for the first time since he was released from jail last Thursday.

It was also the first time Mubarak had been seen in public since he left Tora prison after a court authorised a pre-trial release. He was immediately placed under house arrest by interim prime minister Hazem el-Beblawi, on the basis of powers granted to him under the country's state of emergency.

On Thursday, the 85-year-old former president was flown by helicopter from prison to a military hospital.

Mubarak still faces an array of charges, including complicity in the deaths of about 850 killed in the 2011 uprising against him, and corruption.

His trial was adjourned to September 14.