Cairo: A day after the start of Hosni Mubarak`s historic trial, seven of his co-defendants were back in the courtroom on Thursday on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the uprising that toppled Egypt`s longtime president.
The hearing of former Interior Minister Habib el-Adly and six top police officials was broadcast live on Egyptian state television.
The seven first appeared in court on Wednesday in the same defendants` cage with Mubarak and his two sons — one-time heir apparent Gamal and businessman Alaa — in a related case that is tried by the same judge. The Mubaraks` trial resumes Aug. 15.
Mubarak, el-Adly and the six police officials face the death penalty if convicted over the protesters` deaths.
The three Mubaraks separately face corruption charges.
El-Adly was Mubarak`s interior minister for more than a decade, in charge of the country`s 500,000-strong security forces. Some of the worst human rights abuses during Mubarak`s 29 years in office are blamed on el-Adly and his police force.
Thursday`s hearing was entirely taken up by procedural matters, with Judge Ahmed Rifaat opening boxes of evidence as defense lawyers looked on. The evidence included operational police logs covering the time of the uprising — Jan. 25 to Feb. 11 — with details about the movement of forces, issuing firearms and ammunition.
They also included several weapons and ammunition rounds. One piece of evidence was the blood-soaked jacket of one of the 850 protesters killed during the 18-day uprising.
The judge gave the lawyers a week to examine the evidence before hearings resume on Aug 14.
Also Thursday, the interim prime minister named 11 new provincial governors for Egypt`s 27 governorates, the state news agency said. Protesters had said many remnants of Mubarak`s regime had been left in place in an earlier round of changes in local government leadership.
Protesters are also campaigning to have elections for the local government. One of the new governors, Maj. Gen. Tarek el-Mahdi, is a member of the military council that has taken temporary control of the country.