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Mubarak Prosecutors Formalize Call for Death Penalty
January 9, 2012

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The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has resumed, with prosecutors and civil rights lawyers calling for the death penalty.

Mubarak, old and frail and attending his trial on a hospital bed, is accused of ordering troops to fire on protesters. Hundreds died and thousands were injured in the weeks before Mubarak fled the capital, Cairo, for a seaside resort.

Prosecutors extended the death penalty insistence to former Interior Minister Habib El Adly and four of his aides. The lawyers said that they had evidence proving their case, including security TV footage of police officers, including rooftop snipers, firing on unarmed protesters.

Mubarak's defense team insists that the former president did not personally give orders for troops to shoot at the thousand of protesters that gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square and elsewhere.

The prosecution has one more day to make its case, then the defense will finish its case. A verdict is expected soon after, perhaps by February 1.

The trial of Mubarak, 82, trial resumed in December, after a three-month gap brought on in part by Mubarak's declining health. He has suffered various health ailments in the past few years, including several surgeries for heart trouble.

Representatives of a few other countries, including Russia and France, expressed at concern at the possibility of a death sentence for Mubarak, especially in terms of his failing health. Some legal observers expect a prison term rather than the death sentence.

Meanwhile, the unrest in the streets continues, as preparations for a transition to a new government continue. Voting has finished in three rounds for the lower house of parliament. Final results are expected this week. Voting in Egypt's upper house will take place in two rounds, January 29-30 and February 14-15. A presidential election is expected in March, and new government is expected soon after that.



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