Egypt: Mubarak could be jailed despite `unstable` health

Hosni Mubarak is being held in connection with violence against protesters.

Updated: Apr 22, 2011, 14:10 PM IST

Cairo: Egypt on Thursday mulled sending Hosni Mubarak to jail or to a prison hospital, as reports emerged the ousted president`s health is "unstable" and a court ruled his name be removed from public places.

Egypt`s public prosecutor Abdel Magid Mahmud Mahmud has ordered a medical team to head to Sharm el-Sheikh where Mubarak is under arrest in hospital to "establish his latest health condition and the possibility of having him transferred to Tora prison or to the prison hospital”, his office said.

The prosecutor has also ordered that preparations be made at the hospital in southern Cairo`s Tora prison.

The medical team will head to Tora prison hospital "to evaluate the facilities and equipment and make the necessary preparations to have former president Hosni Mubarak moved there based on his medical condition," it said.

Soon after the prosecutor`s statement, Egypt`s state news agency MENA reported that Mukarak`s health was "unstable”.

Mubarak, 82, "is in suite 309 and his health is unstable”, a medical source in Sharm el-Sheikh was quoted as saying by MENA.

The veteran leader, who stepped down on February 11, is being held in connection with violence against protesters during 18 days of anti-regime rallies that ended his 30-year grip on power.

He is also being questioned on corruption charges.

The ousted president`s two sons, Alaa and Gamal, and several of his ministers and senior aides are also being held in the Tora prison complex on various charges as part of a sweeping probe into corruption and abuse.

An official commission said on Tuesday that Hosni Mubarak was complicit in the shootings of anti-regime protesters as he tried to face down the popular revolt.

Judge Omar Marwan, the commission`s secretary general, was speaking at a news conference after the release of its report`s summary, which said 846 civilians died in the protests that led to Mubarak`s ouster.

Twenty-six policemen were also killed in the unrest, the report said, adding that police used excessive force against demonstrators and shot at people trying to film the events from balconies and windows.

"What is confirmed is that Mubarak`s permission (to use live fire on protesters) must have been obtained. The shooting lasted for several days, and he did not hold accountable those who fired live rounds," Marwan said.

"That confirms his involvement in responsibility," he said.

Mubarak was last week remanded to 15 days` preventive custody in a hospital room. He was hospitalised last week after a heart attack.

His former interior minister Habib al-Adly is on trial for the shootings, while former spy chief Omar Suleiman, briefly vice president during Mubarak`s final days in office, was grilled on Tuesday over the demonstrators` deaths.

The commission`s report found that most of the dead had been shot in the head and chest, which indicated the use of snipers.

"If (the bullets) did not kill the victims, they maimed their faces and destroyed eyes," the report said, adding that hospitals reported "a large number of eye injuries" from gunshots.

The perception of Gamal, a 47-year-old former investment banker, as heir to the presidency and a flawed Parliamentary Election in November 2010 spurred the nationwide protests, the commission said in its report.

On Thursday, a Cairo court ruled the name of Mubarak and his wife, Suzanne, be removed from all "public places, streets, libraries and other public institutions" across Egypt, MENA reported, quoting Judge Mohammed Hassan Omar.

The court said it adopted the decision as part of post-revolution steps to "judge those who are corrupted, fight all aspects of nepotism and impose new policies based on democracy and transparency."

And Mubarak`s daughters-in-law, Haidi Rassekh and Khadiga al-Gammal, have been summoned for questioning over their source of their wealth, a judicial source said.

Rassekh, who is married to Alaa Mubarak, and Gamal Mubarak`s wife Khadiga both hail from wealthy business families.

A judicial official said on Thursday that Egypt`s former oil minister, Sameh Fahmi, has been detained for 15 days in connection with a corruption probe, accused of selling gas to Israel at less than market prices.

Bureau Report