Mubarak trial resumes after historic statements by prosecution

The trial of Hosni Mubarak resumed Wednesday after the former president's arrival, which was delayed because of foggy weather that made it difficult to fly him from his hospital to the Police Academy in New Cairo, where the trial is taking place.

The other defendants — his sons, Alaa and Gamal, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six senior police officers — arrived in court around 9 am.

The defendants face charges ranging from corruption to involvement in the deaths of around 850 protesters during the uprising last January that unseated the former president.

In today’s session, the prosecutors are to take the stage for the second day. During Tuesday’s hearing, head prosecutor Mostafa Suleiman attacked Hosni Mubarak and the figures of his regime, delivering the harshest assessment of Mubarak's rule ever heard in an Egyptian courtroom.

Suleiman accused the ousted leader of tyranny and corruption, saying Mubarak devoted the last 10 years of his three decades in power to ensuring his son would succeed him.

"He deserves to end in humiliation and indignity, from the presidential palace to the defendants' cage and then the harshest penalty," said Suleiman, whose hour-long comments mesmerized the courtroom — a courtroom set up at a police academy that once bore the former leader's name.

Suleiman said the corruption of Mubarak's regime peaked in November and December 2010, when authorities engineered what is widely seen as the most fraudulent parliamentary elections seen in Egypt since the army seized power in a 1952 coup. Mubarak's ruling party won all but a handful of seats in what Suleiman said was part of a strategy to ensure that Gamal Mubarak would succeed his father.

"Here we have a president who devoted the last decade of his rule to engineering something that no one in Egypt ever dared to do before — the succession of his son," said the prosecutor, addressing presiding Judge Ahmed Refaat with his back to the courtroom cage, where Mubarak and the other defendants were held.

Suleiman branded Mubarak as a corrupt man whose lust for power will forever tarnish his legacy. He spoke of him as a president whose fate handed him a job he did not try to get — he was vice president when his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, was assassinated during a 1981 military parade.

"But he refused to willingly relinquish power in response to the will of his own people, so it was forcefully taken from him," Suleiman said.

He said Mubarak put his own interests ahead of the nation's and allowed his family and a coterie of aides to dictate policy for him during the last 10 years of his 29-year rule. He did not learn from what happened to his predecessor, Suleiman said. Mubarak was seated next to Sadat when he was gunned down.

Suleiman singled out Mubarak's wife, Suzanne, saying she was one of the main advocates for Gamal Mubarak to be president.

"His wife wanted to be the mother of the next president after she had been the president's wife," he said. "They did not realize that Egypt was not a fiefdom."

On Wednesday, dozens of martyrs' families gathered early at the Police Academy. They raised banners of their deceased relatives and shouted angry slogans. They also chanted slogans against the interior minister, the attorney general and the ruling military council.

Al-Tahrir, a privately owned newspaper, reported on its website that some members of the martyrs' families are selling slippers that bear the photos of the former president, former Interior Minister Adly, and the former speaker of the People’s Assembly. The items sell for LE20.

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