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Hosni Mubarak too ill to be moved to Cairo prison, Egypt’s prosecutor says

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Egypt’s public prosecutor said on Tuesday that ousted President Hosni Mubarak was not well enough to be transferred to a prison hospital in Cairo and would remain in a health facility in a Red Sea resort for the time being.

“After having examined (Mubarak’s) medical file and evaluated (facilities) at the hospital in Tora Prison, the committee has decided not to transfer the patient outside Sharm el-Sheikh for the moment,” the prosecutor said in a statement.

“The committee examined the patient in his intensive care room and found that he is clearly frail and depressed and cannot leave the bed without assistance,” the statement said.

The former president has been in custody in hospital since April 13 after reportedly suffering a heart attack during questioning about the killing of anti-regime protesters and fraud.

The 83-year-old Mr. Mubarak is said to be suffering from “episodes of unconsciousness due to circulatory problems and low blood pressure,” the statement said.

He also suffers “an irregular heartbeat which could lead to a sudden heart attack,” it added.

The prosecutor also said Mr. Mubarak had suffered from “bile duct tumors which have been operated on abroad,” without elaborating.

In March 2010, Mr. Mubarak went to Germany for surgery. Doctors at the time said he had suffered from chronic calculus cholecystitis—an inflammation of the gall bladder accompanied by gallstones—and a duodenal polyp.

They said he also had a growth removed from his small intestine.

In an interview with CNN last Sunday, Mr. Mubarak’s lawyer said the former president was in “very bad health.”

“The president has serious heart problems and complications with his stomach from the operation he had in Germany last year,” Farid El Deeb said.

The spectacular fall of one of the region’s most powerful leaders after 18 days of nationwide anti-regime protests was followed by repeated calls for his trial.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took power when Mubarak was ousted on February 11, has vowed to bring to justice all those found guilty of abuse, but has been criticized for its handling of the transitional phase.

Mr. Mubarak and his two sons were last week referred to a criminal court on charges of ordering the killings of anti-regime protesters and graft.

The murder charges may lead to a death sentence if Mr. Mubarak is found guilty, the justice minister said earlier this month. However, few observers believe that the former president would be executed if found guilty.

The three have also been charged with profiteering and using their positions for illicit gains and squandering public funds, the prosecutor's office added.

Mr. Mubarak’s wife Suzanne was released this month after she returned assets to the government. She is suspected of corruption.

The veteran leader, who ruled Egypt for three decades, was hospitalized in mid-April after reportedly suffering a heart attack during questioning and his detention has been extended regularly since.

The timing of the illness meant Mr. Mubarak has not joined other former officials in jail, and has fuelled talk that he was getting special treatment from the army. The military now deny this and say the case is in the hands of the judiciary.

An official inquiry found that at least 846 people were killed in the protests, many of them from gunshot wounds. At least 6,000 were injured.

Mr. Mubarak’s security chief Habib al-Adly has already been sentenced to 12 years in jail for corruption and faces another trial on charges of ordering the shootings of demonstrators.

(Sara Ghasemilee, an editor at Al Arabiya English, can be reached at sara.ghasemilee@mbc.net)