The chief prosecutor in Hosni Mubarak’s trial insisted on Wednesday that he had strong evidence against the fallen dictator in arguing that Mubarak had ordered the killings of anti-regime demonstrators, and accused the interior ministry of hampering the case.
“The prosecution has confirmed that Mubarak, (former interior minister Habib al-) Adly and his aides assisted and incited” the shooting deaths of protesters, the official MENA news agency quoted prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman as saying.
But Suleiman said the “state apparatus had deliberately refused to cooperate with the prosecution” in the case.
The ailing 83-year-old former dictator is accused of involvement in the deaths of protesters during the uprising that overthrew him in February.
Adly and six security chiefs were also in the dock, as were Mubarak’s two sons, Alaa and Gamal, who are being tried on corruption charges.
Suleiman said Mubarak, Adly and the security chiefs bore responsibility for the killing of protesters.
The trial was adjourned to Thursday, when the prosecution is expected to ask for the maximum sentence for the accused.
On Tuesday, Suleiman described Mubarak as a “tyrannical leader who sought to hand power to his younger son Gamal, who spread corruption in the country and opened the door to his friends and relatives, ruining the country without any accountability.
The trial began on August 3 after months of protests to pressure the military rulers to place the former strongman on trial along with ex-regime officials.
There was a three months hiatus in which lawyers for the alleged victims unsuccessfully sought the dismissal of Judge Ahmed Refaat, whom they accused of bias towards the defence.
Relatives of those who died in the protests say their hopes to see Mubarak sentenced have been dashed by a string of witnesses who mostly confirmed the defence’s case that the former president never gave orders to shoot protesters.
Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak’s former defence minister and now the country’s military ruler, testified behind close doors. The court issued a gag order on his testimony, but lawyers say he did not incriminate Mubarak.
Mubarak is in custody in a military hospital on Cairo’s outskirts, where he is being treated for a heart condition. His lawyer says he suffers from stomach cancer.
Tuesday’s hearing comes as Egyptians in a third of the country’s 27 provinces were voting in the final round of landmark parliamentary elections.