Testimony undercuts case against Mubarak

Sept. 6, 2011 at 8:35 AM
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CAIRO, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Witnesses in the corruption and murder trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak testified Tuesday they didn't receive direct orders to kill protesters.

A lawyer who represents families of people who died during the protests that led to Mubarak's ouster called the trial a farce because witnesses called to testify against him and others weakened the case, al-Masry al-Youm reported.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

Mubarak, 83, is charged with corruption and murder in the deaths of protesters during 18 days of demonstrations.

Mubarak's sons, Alaa and Gamal, also are on trial on corruption charges. Ex-Interior Minister Habib al-Adly is also charged in the killings of protesters and previously received a 12-year prison sentence for corruption. Mubarak confidant and business tycoon Hussein Salem is being tried in absentia.

One witness, Capt. Basem Hassan, a police officer in the Central Security Forces' Operations Department, testified police officers were given automatic weapons to use as deterrence. He said orders were to shoot at people's legs or in the air.

Security officials said at least 22 people were arrested Tuesday outside of the Police Academy, where the trial is being conducted.

Inside the courtroom, Judge Ahmad Refaat was forced to recess proceedings multiple times because of disruptions. Bikya Masr reported shoes were thrown in the courtroom.

A security official told al-Masry al-Youm 20,000 Central Security troops, 60 armored vehicles and 40 tanks were assigned to protect the courtroom inside the Police Academy compound in Cairo.

The retrial of Islamic jihad leaders known as "The Returnees from Albania" resumed Monday in an Egyptian military court.

The three defendants deny the charges against them, including murder, terrorism and attempting to overthrow the regime, saying Mubarak's government fabricated the charges.

The original case was heard in 1999 and included more than 100 terror suspects. Since the country's uprising this spring, several defendants in the original case said their convictions were based on false evidence and demanded retrials.

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