Mubarak’s fresh trial over Egypt protester deaths adjourned

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The second hearing in the new trial of Egypt's fallen dictator Hosni Mubarak was abruptly adjourned on Friday for judges to review evidence.

Presiding judge Mahmoud al-Rashidi adjourned the court to Monday.

While sitting up on a stretcher inside the defendants’ cage, shared with seven of his former security commanders and his two sons, Mubarak watched the proceedings.

Rashidi on Saturday barred lawyers filing civil suits against Mubarak and his co-defendants from attending hearings in the retrial.

Those filing civil suits had been allowed to attend the first trial.

One of the main lawyers filing civil suits, Sameh Ashur, told AFP Rashidi’s ruling would not have a major impact on the proceedings.

But the decision angered the lawyers in the makeshift court in a police academy lecture hall outside Cairo.

“The people demand the cleansing of the judiciary,” they chanted.

Mubarak’s lawyer Farid al-Deeb appeared visibly satisfied with the ruling. He had demanded the same of the judge in Mubarak’s first trial.

Before adjourning the session, Rashidi said the court would examine a request to jail three out of six police commanders on trial with Mubarak for their alleged involvement in the deaths of protesters during the early 2011 uprising.

Mubarak's is facing a new trial over the protester deaths, following his appeal against a life sentence for complicity in the killings.

Along with seven former senior security chiefs, Mubarak is charged with incitement in the killings of protesters who rose up against him.

The 85-year-old former president is also charged with corruption, along with his two sons, Gamal and Alaa.

All of the defendants pleaded have “not guilty” to the charges leveled against them.

The former strongman had been sentenced to life in prison by a previous court, but an appeals court ordered a retrial, citing procedural failures.

In his hearing last month, Mubarak appeared in good health when he was wheeled into the makeshift court in a police academy outside Cairo.

In the trial’s opening session on May 11, Judge Mahmoud al-Rashidi issued an emotional appeal for order, saying he understood “frustration” with the process.

Amid a raucous start to proceedings, lawyers for the victims’ families taunted Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal, as they stood in the dock with chants of “The people want the execution of the murderer,” AFP news agency reported.

(With AFP)