12:02PM BST 03 Aug 2011
• Mubarak denies charges of corruption and killing protesters
• Former president wheeled in to Cairo court on stretcher
• Lawyer for Mubarak blames army chiefs for violence
• Sons Gamal and Alaa in dock along with father
• Clashes erupt outside trial venue
12.46 Since the day’s events seem to have come to a halt, we’ll tie this up here. If there are any developments, we’ll start up again. Our foreign desk has written this as the former Egyptian president pleads not guilty to all charges:
The spectacle, aired live on state television, was a stunning moment for Egyptians, many of whom savoured the humiliation of the man who ruled with unquestionable power for 29 years. After widespread scepticism that Egypt’s military rulers would allow it, the scene went a long way to satisfy one of the key demands that has united protesters since Feb. 11, when Mubarak fell following an 18-day uprising.
“This is the dream of Egyptians, to see him like this, humiliated like he humiliated them for the last 30 years,” said Ghada Ali, the mother of a 17-year old girl in the city of Alexandria who was shot to death during the crackdown.
12.34 Meanwhile, in Syria, army tanks have launched a new offensive against rebels in the city of Hama.
12.14 Something I missed in the rush earlier: Mubarak’s lawyer said thatHussein Tantawi, the then defence minister, took over as ruler of Egypt behind the scenes on January 28, and so was responsible for the violence that took place since then.
12.02 Hosni Mubarak, who is believed to be suffering from stomach cancer, will stay in the police academy hospital in Cairo during the trial and will not return to his Sharm al Sheik residence, according to Egyptian state media.
11.55 Joseph Mayton, the editor of the MIddle East news blog Bikyamasr,claims that 53 people have been injured in the clashes outside the court.
11.53 Earlier, Fareed al Deeb, representing Mubarak, called for 1,631 witnesses to be called. It is unlikely to be a short trial.
11.48 The court has in fact adjourned for “deliberations” – not clear whether it will recommence today.
A little more detail on the odd conspiracy-theory stuff about Mubarak being a lookalike who took over when the real one died in 2004:
Conspiracy lawyer is called Hamed Siddik, and he filed this very case in 2004 … that Mubarak died and this is an imposterless than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac Favorite Retweet ReplyAbdel-Rahman Hussein
11.43 Another recess. Gamal and Alaa push their father’s stretcher-bed from the court.
11.37 Now a lawyer for the defence, Fareed al Deeb, representing Mubarak and two other defendants, is talking. He has seven demands, he says, including wiping of various memory cards and printing out the documents on them, and photocopying various legal documents. Very dense and and technical. The judge, as he has done several times, tells the lawyer to present his demands in writing.
Mubarak keeps lifting his head and trying to watch; his sons are standing between him and the camera, apparently trying to shield him, but the cameraman gets this shot:
11.32 Surreal moment as a lawyer calls out that Mubarak died in 2004, and that this court appearance is a conspiracy on the part of America and Israel. He is calling for a DNA test to prove that it’s the real Mubarak and not a lookalike.
Various lawyers ranting at the judge, who wearily asks one: “What does what you’re saying have to do with the trial?”
11.29 A lawyer for the Egyptian state is calling for one billion Egyptian pounds in damages from Mubarak, for the damage caused to the country’s infrastructure and for lost tourism money, to be presented to the state treasury.
11.27 Another lawyer says that 130 lawyers for civil claimants have been denied access to the courtroom. There are 30 lawyers in the court.
11.20 Something of a commotion in court: “We have more than 120,000 documents. We request the court scan them and save them on a disc so that all the lawyers, defence and civil rights claimants, can obtain a copy at low cost”, says a lawyer, loudly and angrily. The judge says it will be allowed.
Until the anti-government protests erupted on January 25, Mubarak seemed untouchable as president of the most populous nation in the Arab world, backed by the United States and the military from whose ranks he had emerged.
Now 83, Mubarak had survived 10 attempts on his life and his health was also a subject of speculation. But in the end, it was the people who brought down Egypt’s latter-day pharaoh.
11.17 The same lawyer demands that security-forces snipers are called as witnesses, to interrogate them about who gave orders, according toEvan Hill of Al Jazeera.
11.14 One lawyer calls for the fingerprinting of all the defendants, including Mubarak, since they have never had an official criminal file created. He pulls out an ink-pad.
11.06 The prosecutor has asked the court to call the former head of Egyptian state TV and two top military officials, Minister of Defense Hussein Tantawi and armed forces chief Sami Enan, before it.
10.58 Mubarak confirms his attendance at court, and denies all charges. His sons Alaa and Gamal also deny charges, as Adrian Blomfield confirms from the scene:
Mubarak speaks for the first time. Confirms who he is and then adds: I completely deny all the charges. His sons follow suit.
10.54 Mubarak illegally procured five villas in the south Sinai for himself and his sons, worth 39 million Egyptian pounds, according to the prosecutor. He also accuses Mubarak of profiteering on a natural gas deal with Israel.
10.53 The prosecutor names some of those who died in the uprising, the first of which is one Muaz al-Sayed Kamil. He says more names are in the documents submitted to the court.
10.52 More video, this time of the clashes outside the court:
10.49 The prosecutor is speaking now. He calls for Mubarak to be held accountable for all violence against protesters between 2000 and 2010 – not merely during the uprising this year. He also accuses former interior minister Habib al-Adly. He says the former president permitted al-Adly to use weapons and military vehicles against the protesters.
10.46 Sultan al Qassemi, a Middle Eastern journalist, tweets his estimate that there are 600 people in the court, including “defense lawyers, relatives, victims’ families and journalists.”
10.42 Outside the court, the clashes seem to have stopped, and calm has fallen. The crowd are all watching a big screen showing the proceedings inside the court, according to Mohammed Jamjoom of CNN. Reports of at least one arrest.
10.38 The courtroom is filling back up again. Now a lawyer representing the victims of the Mubarak regime’s crackdown on the uprising is speaking, listing the penal code articles under which Mubarak and his co-defendants are being charged, and what they refer to, including “thuggery and intimidation”, using grenades against protesters and releasing prison inmates to attack crowds. “We demand that the severest punishments are applied to the accused”, he says.
10.35 Video showing Hosni Mubarak arriving at court in his hospital bed:
10.26 Fuller quote from the lawyer who spoke earlier, representing the former interior minister Habib al-Adli, when he called for other former senior regime figures to be called before the trial:
We ask for the summoning of the national security council, the (former) cabinet and political leaders and we also ask to summon Field Marshal (Mohamed Hussein) Tantawai and General (Omar) Suleiman to speak to them.
Tantawi, who now heads the ruling military council, was Mubarak’s defence minister for two decades, and Suleiman was Mubarak intelligence chief and appointed vice president in the last days Mubarak was in office.
10.21 It looks as though some protesters have been arrested and hauled away.
10.15 The court has indeed been adjourned briefly. Outside, the crowd has grown restless again – Al Jazeera’s correspondent says that 200 riot police charged protesters, and stones have been thrown, in scenes reminiscent of the uprising which brought Mubarak down. Apparently several policeman have been injured by thrown rocks and have been taken away.
10.12 It looks like the court is to take a break; Mubarak is being wheeled out on his gurney. A couple of tweets from Ashraf Khalil, The Times’s Cairo correspondent, on the chaotic-yet-stuffily-bureaucratic nature of proceedings:
ashrafkhalil so far, the #Mubaraktrial seems like a sinister plot to bore us all into submission. Might be working too.
To those who have never witnessed an Egyptian trial, yes they’re all like this. Usually in a much hotter and nastier courtroom
10.07 Adrian Blomfield again:
As expected, Mubarak’s lawyers are seeking an adjournment to subpoena witnesses. As is this is essentially a preliminary hearing, the request is likely to be granted
10.02 The defence lawyer has called for the prosecution to provide the minutes of a cabinet meeting held on January 22, as part of what sounds like an attempt to bog the proceedings down in detail. Meanwhile, a tweeter has captured Mubarak’s apparent nose-picking moment:
10.01 Richard Engel of NBC tweets:
richardengelnbc Mubarak in courtroom. Reminds me of Saddam in court, but it that fair? Saddam was so much worse.
09.58 A missive from Zoe Catchpole, from our foreign desk, with an update on Mubarak’s tonsorial condition:
Hosni might be lying on hospital bed but I note his hair dye is up to date. Do you think his nurse does it for him?
09.56 Hosni Mubarak keeps lifting his head from his stretcher-bed, trying to watch proceedings.
09.49 Alaa Mubarak, the former president’s son, is holding a book, apparently a Koran.
09.46 A lot of amusement on Twitter after the camera caught Mubarak apparently picking his nose:
Is Mubarak actually picking his nose during the trial proceedings, that’s broadcast live? That alone is a crime #Mo2ref #mubaraktrial #Aug3less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet ReplyPakinam and Voice
09.43 The lawyer is now arguing that he has had insufficient time to study eyewitness accounts, and has said that “to fulfil his duties as a defence lawyer”, he needs a month to familiarise himself with the 4,000-page document. He denies that he is obstructing the court’s work, and says that instead the prosecution is doing so by preventing him and his colleagues from properly going about their work.
09.39 The BBC reports more scuffles outside the courtroom. A lawyer for one of the other defendants – not Mubarak – is listing the names of other people who he says should be charged; the names goes on and on, and the judge, sounding irritable, insists that the list is submitted in writing. An argument breaks out.
Earlier, the lawyer listed the places from which security forces allegedly shot protesters, and claimed that it would have been impossible.
09.34 Adrian Blomfield gets in touch again:
The opening gambit of the Mubarak family’s lawyer Farid el-Deeb is to ask the judges to recuse themselves on grounds that they are unfit to oversee a free and fair trial.
09.31 The hashtag #Mubaraktrial is now “trending” globally on Twitter, meaning that it is one of the most widely used phrases on the social networking site worldwide.
09.28 The Telegraph’s Adrian Blomfield puts the Mubarak trial into some perspective and how historically significant the event is:
This is such an extraordinary moment in Arab history. Saddam Hussein may have faced trial but this is the first time a modern Arab leader has been brought to the dock by his own people without any outside invitation. For Egyptians, it is possible that this will clam the tensions of recent weeks. The protest movement has what it wants. But there are consequences for the rest of the region. One suspects that Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-assad are watching the same pictures we are and the prospect of them stepping down – and risking the same humiliating consequences – seems to have just become a little more remote.
09.25 A reminder of the uprising in Egypt earlier this year – more than 800 people were killed and some 6,000 wounded in the 18 days of protests that eventually toppled the regime.
09.22 The trial is Mubarak’s first public appearance since he was ousted by the Arab Spring uprising on February 11. The Judge has said the session will be conducted “in complete calm” and has warned anyone that he will throw them out if they are seen to disrupt the proceedings.
09.19 Rawya Rageh, the Al Jazeera English Iraq reporter, who is tweeting updates on the trial from @RawyaRageh, has pointed out that Mubarak’s sons are literally standing beside their father, instead of sitting down.
09.16 The judge is going through some of the formalities now. Adrian Blomfield reports that it is very quiet outside the court now as people strain to hear him.
09.08 Mubarak stepped down on February 11, after daily mass protests and deaths in clashes with security forces and regime loyalists. Although the trial is the culmination of his ousting, there have been several key events in Egypt since he fell.
09.05 Judge Ahmed Rifaat is now talking. The 83-year-old Mubarak is muttering on his bed inside the defendant’s mesh cage.
09.02 And here is a picture of Mubarak in the court room cage while on said bed:
09.01 From inside the court, Gamal, Alaa and finally Hosni Mubarak are taken into the court. Mubarak was wheeled into court on a bed. Cheers and whoops from the crowd outside. Adrian Blomfield however points out that his eyes are moving and he’s gesticulating. He is clearly not in a coma, as his lawyers have previously suggested.
09.00 Israeli media is reporting that Benjamin Netanyahu offered Mubarak political asylum several months ago.
Benjamin Ben-Eliezer told Army Radio:
I met [Mubarak] in Sharm el-Sheikh and I told him that it was a short distance and that it might be a good chance to heal himself. I am convinced that the Israel government would have accepted him but he declined [the offer] because he was a patriot.
08.46 Al-Jazeera has a picture of inside the court room where Mubarak will be tried. Looks like the event is proving a popular one.
Inside the courtroom at the police academy in Cairo where former President Mubarak will be tried
08.40 AFP believes that today’s court session may be over quickly, as in some trials, with charges read and pleas recorded. Legal experts say comments by presiding judge Ahmed Refaat before the trial suggested there might be daily sessions after this to ensure a swift verdict.
08.37 Rival groups of protesters are now throwing stones at each other again as the police stand by. Many people have also run away.
08.26 Twitter user Gigi Ibrahim, @Gsquare86, who describes herself as a Socialist Activist from Cairo, writes:
Last time Mubarak was in that room was Jan24 whn he was celebrating police day before our glorious revolution by 1 day #jan25#MubarakTrialless than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet ReplyGigi Ibrahim ??????
08.17 Mubarak has reportedly pulled up outside the court in an ambulance, reports Adrian Blomfield.
If you had told an Egyptian even last year that one day he would see Mubarak in a courtroom cage answering for his crimes, he would have said you were crazy. But now it looks like it is actually happening. Although an ambulance is here, surrounded by police, we still don’t know for sure if Mubarak is inside and if he will emerge.
08.12 Mubarak is not the only one on trial today. His sons Gamal and Alaa will share a cage today to address charges of corruption.
Gamal had risen in the party ranks over the past decade, heading a powerful committee he created that oversaw liberal economic reforms and surrounding himself with widely reviled businessmen.
Alaa was the more popular of the two, and he was reported to have publicly lashed out at his brother during a gathering for losing his father the presidency.
08.10 Our picture desk has a screen grab, courtesy of al-Jazeera, of a helicopter flying over the court house. Not clear if it is the one carrying Mubarak, as referred to by Adrian below.
A helicopter flys over the police academy in Cairo where Mubarak’s trial is to be held
08.05 Adrian Blomfield with more from outside the court house:
If Mubarak had arrived by road, which he didn’t, he might have been forgiven for thinking he was still president. White uniformed police officers, positioned a few paces from each other, line the road leading to the police academy for miles – just as they did whenever Mubarak turned up for official event as president.
Huge cheer as helicopter arrives at academy but we don’t know if any of the defendants, who include Mubarak’s two sons and his former interior minister, are inside it. Rival chants of “we love you, our president” and “hang him! hang him!” break out.
08.00 The Daily Telegraph’s Middle East Correspondent, Adrian Blomfield, who is outside the courthouse, has checked in to explain more about the trial and ensuing scuffles.
There have been scuffles outside the police academy where Mubarak is being tried this morning, with supporters and opponents of the fiormer president throwing stones at each other and engaging in the odd fistfight. Riot police have brought a semblance of order, however, and for the moment, the crowds on both sides are not big.
To the surprise of many, it does look like the trial will go ahead although some still suspect a last minute hitch. A big screen has been set up outside the court and the president’s supporters have hung a banner beneath it saying: “oh judge of judges, you have nothing to fear but God”. In one of today’s many ironies the vast police academy where the trial is taking place used to be named after Mubarak. The name was removed after his overthrow on February 11.
07.58 Egypt’s military has been in charge since an 18-day popular revolt ousted Mubarak on February 11. Although Mubarak’s trial is seen as the pinnacle of the revolution in Egypt, there are many pitfalls that lie ahead, including the controversial role of the military, the faltering economy and countdown to potentially contentious elections.
07.56 Clashes have erupted outside the court house in Cairo between hundreds of supports and opponents of the ex-president. The courtroom has been set up in what was once named the Mubarak Police academy.
Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
07.55 Mubarak was flown on a military plane from the Red Sea resort Sharm el-Sheikh in a military aircraft to Cairo for the opening of the historic trial. He is the first leader ousted by the Arab Spring to face trial. Tunisia’s Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was tried in absentia.
07.50 BST (08.50 Cairo) Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the trial of Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president. He is facing charges of corruption and ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising that ousted him – if found guilty, he faces the death penalty.