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Mubarak seeks divine help, carries Quran in court

If convicted, the former strongman could face the death penalty.



Cairo: Deposed Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak, who was wheeled into a courtroom here today on a
stretcher to face trial on charges of corruption and killing
protesters, sought divine help as he held a copy of Holy Quran
in his hand throughout the hearing.

83-year-old Mubarak, the first Arab ruler in modern
times to be put in the dock, held a copy of Quran and appeared
very much conscious of everything going on around him in the
courtroom here.

If convicted, the former strongman could face the
death penalty.

His sons - Alaa and Gamal- held his hand a number of
times while he was in his gurney inside the dock before the
beginning of the session.

Alaa handed a microphone to his father to answer the
court`s question if he had committed the crimes mentioned in
the committal order.

Mubarak pleaded not guilty to the premeditated murder
of anti-regime protesters during the revolution.

Alaa and Gamal were attentive in the court and heard
its proceedings closely. They also exchanged whispers during
the proceedings of the trial. The pair also appeared to take
turns to shield their father from the television cameras.

The bereaved families uttered insults in low voice
when Mubarak and the rest of the defendants entered the dock,
prompting the court`s president to issue strict instructions
to abide by the rules of order.

Almost everyone in the court was astonished when one
of the lawyers told the court that he suspected that Mubarak
has been clinically dead since 2004.

After a four-hour hearing with two brief breaks, Chief
Judge Ahmed Refaat decided to adjourn the trial until August
15 and said the former ruler would be moved to the
International Medical Centre in Cairo from the hospital where
he had been detained in Sharm el-Sheikh for four months.

The court also ordered that the Mubaraks be remanded
in custody pending trial and that they be brought to the dock
in the next session on August 15.

PTI

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