The trial adjourns until Monday
Recent bloodshed proves Mubarak "has nothing to do with the killing," says a supporter
But others think Mubarak should be executed
Mubarak is back in court on a gurney, accused of ordering the killing of protesters
The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resumed Wednesday after a months-long break and a failed effort by families of slain protesters to have the judge disqualified.
The ailing 83-year-old was brought into the Cairo court on a gurney, wearing a white defendant’s jumpsuit.
By mid-afternoon, the court adjourned, with the trial set to resume Monday.
Mubarak is charged with ordering the killing of protesters to try to quash the uprising that ended his 30-year rule in February. He also faces corruption charges.
Mubarak has pleaded not guilty.
Former Egyptian Interior Minister Habib El Adly, six of his aides and two of Mubarak’s sons are also on trial on a variety of charges.
Judge Ahmed Refaat returned as head of the court Wednesday after lawyers representing families of dead or injured protesters petitioned a higher court in November demanding a new panel of judges.
“He did not allow many of them into the court and did not give them enough time to ask their questions,” attorney Khaled Abu Bakr said, referring to Refaat.
In their motion, the lawyers also objected to how some high-profile witnesses testified in secrecy.
The appeals court rejected the motion to disqualify Refaat and fined the lawyers who filed the motion about $1,000.
Refaat announced that court proceedings would go on daily starting Monday, in order to speed up the trial, Bakr said.
“I expect a verdict to be announced sooner than expected because Fareed El Deeb, Mubarak’s lawyer, retracted his requests to the court for calling more witnesses,” Bakr added.
In court Wednesday, attorneys requested access to the testimony of Gen. Sami Anan, deputy head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Bakr said.
He said lawyers also requested access to footage from surveillance cameras outside the Egyptian Museum – which is under the authority of Egyptian intelligence – due to their proximity to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the Egyptian revolt.
Civil rights attorney Kamal Mandour said the defense asked the court to consider investigations into recent clashes between protesters and security forces that left dozens of casualties.
Mandour said he believes the defense will argue that others are involved in deadly violence in an attempt to refute charges against Mubarak and El Adly.
Bakr said the plaintiffs’ attorneys have asked to call nine witnesses Monday.
Interior Ministry spokesman Alaa Mahmoud said 5,000 police officers were in charge of securing the trial Wednesday. In addition, 14 ambulances and a field clinic were set up outside the court in case clashes erupted between pro- and anti-Mubarak demonstrators, Health Ministry spokesman Hisham Shiha said.
Several dozen Mubarak supporters stood outside the court, waving posters of Mubarak and chanting, “Not guilty, not guilty!”
Karim Hussein, administrator of a pro-Mubarak Facebook page, noted recent clashes have erupted without Mubarak in power.
They are “proof Mubarak has nothing to do with killing. He has left the picture, and the thuggery, killing and violence remains the same,” Hussein said.
But salesman Mohamed Imam holds Mubarak responsible for the deaths of Egyptians during the uprising.
“The man killed more than 800 in a matter of days and could have stopped it after it got out of control. He didn’t. He must face execution,” Imam said.
About 840 people died and more than 6,000 were wounded in the 18 days of uprising that toppled Mubarak, according to Amnesty International.