Mubarak trial venue changed due to security concerns

July 31st, 2011 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Cairo, July 31 (IANS) The venue for the trial of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak will be moved from a Cairo convention centre due to security reasons, BBC reported.

The trial - due to open Wednesday - will now be held at a police academy further from the city centre.

Mubarak, 83, has been under arrest at a hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh coastal resort town since April. He is charged with corruption and ordering the killing of protesters during an uprising in February that led to his ouster.

Appeals court president Abdel Aziz Omar said Mubarak’s trial was being moved “because it is difficult to guarantee the protection of the other place”.

The police academy auditorium, where the trial will now be held, can hold 600 people, Assistant Justice Minister Mohammed Munie told Egypt’s Mena news agency.

A cage has been prepared for the defendants, he said.

Doctors have said Mubarak’s condition was poor and he has lost weight from refusing food. He was also suffering from depression. But the government has said the former president was well enough to be moved to Cairo for trial.

Mubarak will be tried alongside his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, and former interior minister Habib al-Adly, as well as six senior police officials.

The justice minister said Mubarak could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Mubarak was deposed Feb 11, after 18 days of mass demonstrations in which around 850 people were killed.

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