Lawyers join call for Mubarak's execution

Could Mubarak be sentenced to death?
Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is wheeled on a stetcher into the courtroom in Cairo on January 3, 2012, for the continuation of his trial.

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Story highlights

  • Attorney: Mubarak should face the death penalty
  • The defense will make its case next Tuesday
  • The defendants are accused in the deaths of hundreds of protesters
  • The former Egyptian president denies the charges against him
Civil rights lawyers Tuesday joined prosecutors' calls for a death sentence for former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
The former leader, his former interior minister and four of his aides are on trial for their alleged involvement in the deaths of hundreds of protesters in last year's uprising.
Attorney Sameh Ashour, who represents some of the victims' families, said Tuesday at the trial that "160 police officers fired 4,800 live bullets from machine guns during the revolution. Ambulances were used to transport weapons to the officers on the ground, which indicates there was intention from the start to fire at protesters."
Judge Ahmed Refaat gave each of the five lawyers who spoke 10 minutes to present their case.
The attorneys, Ashour said, request "the maximum sentence for those accused and a compensation of 100,000 Egyptian pounds to the families of the victims."
The trial will resume next Tuesday, with the defense making its case, the judge said.
A verdict is not expected before January 25, the first anniversary of the Egyptian uprising.
"We merged our voice with the prosecutor's closing arguments from last week's hearing and demanded the death sentence to Mubarak, his former interior minister Habib El Adly, and four of his aides for killing hundreds of protesters and injuring thousands more," attorney Khalid Abu Bakr told CNN Monday. "We have proof Mubarak is directly responsible for the killings along with El Adly and his aides."
Abu Bakr said Mubarak deserved to die for violating Egypt's criminal law 77.
"His negligence and actions led to endangering the national security of the country," he said.
The attorney also provided the court with a list of alleged suspects he wants indicted, including police officers he said were caught on camera firing their weapons on protesters.
Last week, the Russian foreign ministry issued a statement expressing its "deep concern" over the prosecution's request for a Mubarak death sentence and calling on Egypt to consider his old age and poor health. Mubarak, 83, has been wheeled into the courtroom every day on a stretcher. Germany and France also issued statements of "concern."
The former president, who was ousted in February last year after weeks of popular protests in his country, is accused of corruption and ordering protesters killed during the uprising. He denied the charges.
Two of Mubarak's sons are also on trial on a variety of charges. The sons, Gamal and Alaa, have pleaded not guilty.
Lawyers familiar with the case said it is unlikely Mubarak and his fellow defendants will receive the death penalty, in part because of the difficulty in proving the president ordered the killings, the lawyers said.
Analysts agreed that while some Egyptians might welcome a death sentence for their former leader, particularly at a time of heightened tension as the anniversary of the uprising approaches, he is more likely to receive a prison term.
Many Egyptians have criticized the court proceedings, and some worry that Mubarak might be acquitted of the murder charges. Five police officers accused of killing protesters already have been acquitted.
Amnesty International had estimated more than 840 protesters were killed and 6,000 injured. Saeed, the prosecutor's spokesman, said the prosecution's estimate of 225 deaths and more than 1,300 injured is lower "because there has been a differentiation between those killed outside police stations while attacking the precinct and those shot while protesting."