CAIRO, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak made his first statement during his trial Wednesday, saying the blood of the protesters killed during his ouster is not on his hands.
"Mohammed Hosni Mubarak appearing before you today had never ordered the killing of protesters or the shedding of Egyptian blood. I spent my whole life defending Egypt and its sons. I say before God and you the people that I have spent my life fighting the enemies of the country. This was my education, my training and my belief since graduating from the Air Force in 1949. I have never ordered the killing of one single Egyptian citizen under any circumstances or reasons."
Mubarak, 86, was widely criticized for his authoritarian 30-year rule. Despite this, he remained steadfast in defending his work and his legacy.
The former leader didn't waste the opportunity to take a jab at current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for his failure in the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
"I have managed relationships with Israel like a man walking a tightrope, without any compromise on national sovereignty or the Palestinian people's rights," said Mubarak. "Considering Palestinian interests, I have never hesitated a moment in providing Egypt's aid to those under siege in Gaza."
Between his recent health problems and old age, Mubarak said this may be the last time he will have the opportunity defend himself.
"Perhaps my talk today is the last I speak to the sons of my nation before life reaches its end, and the time has come, and I am hidden in Egypt's pure dust," he said.
Mubarak has been in police custody while staying in a hospital located on the Nile. He is being retried for allegedly complying in killing around 850 protesters. Even if he is not found guilty, he could still face prison time on separate charges.
The court will hand down Mubarak's verdict on August 27.