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Mubarak to be charged for corruption, protester deaths

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Egyptians on news Mubarak to stand trial
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mubarak's ill health is unlikely to halt proceedings, a Justice Ministry official says
  • Ex-Egyptian leader and his 2 sons will face trial, accused of corruption and ordering killings
  • He's accused of ordering use of live ammunition on Tahrir Square protesters in Cairo
  • Mubarak stepped down as Egypt's ruler on February 11

(CNN) -- Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons will face trial before a criminal court for the killings of protesters and the waste of public money, the Egyptian general prosecutor's office announced Tuesday.

Mubarak, who was forced from office in February, is being charged with consenting to a plan to kill protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on January 25, according to Adel Saeed, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office. Mubarak ordered police officers to use live ammunition while they fired into the crowd of protesters, Saeed said.

The former president could be executed if he is convicted of ordering the killing of protesters, Egyptian Justice Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz al-Juindy said earlier this month. An Egyptian police officer accused of killing 20 protesters during a January 28 demonstration was given a death sentence Monday.

Mubarak has been held in a military hospital in Cairo since mid-April, after complaining of heart palpitations and blood pressure problems. But Aly Hassan, a judicial analyst affiliated with the ministry, said Egyptian courts can proceed with a case if a defendant is in poor health.

"In previous cases, suspects appeared in court with life-support machines, so Mubarak's health now does not mean that he is paralyzed," Hassan said. "If he has heart problems and doctors indicate improvement, then he can appear in court for several hours."

Mubarak stepped down as Egypt's leader on February 11, after an 18-day uprising against his nearly three decades of iron-fisted rule. He and his family, as well as former officials in his government, have been under investigation ever since.

Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, also have been charged with using official positions to acquire four villas in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh under fake names. They also are accused of allowing businessman Hussein Salem -- who is being sought by Interpol -- to illegally acquire vast land holdings in south Sharm el-Sheikh.

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His wife, Suzanne, who suffered a heart attack in early May, was released on bail last week after relinquishing control of bank accounts worth $3.4 million. She also gave up a villa and signed an affidavit allowing further investigation of her personal fortune.

In addition, prosecutors allege that Mubarak and a former oil minister allowed Salem to move ahead with a $2 billion illegal deal exporting gas to Israel. The deal led to a loss of $714 million for the state, prosecutors say.

And Mubarak is under investigation for possible commissions tied to various arms deals. A military prosecutor is looking into the charges, which could have national security implications.

Finally, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak are being investigated in a series of additional possible corruption charges tied to Egyptian debt payments and partnerships with foreign companies, among other things.

Interior Minister Habib El Adly was recently handed a 12-year prison sentence for corruption and faces a separate trial June 26 on charges that he ordered the killing of protesters.

Former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali is also charged with squandering public funds. He fled the country on February 12, according to a written statement from the prosecutor's office.

Several other former top government officials face corruption probes as well, prosecutors say.

CNN's Diana Magnay and Mohamed Fadel Fahmy contributed to this report.

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