Lawyers for Egypt’s ex-president Hosni Mubarak entered a not guilty plea when his retrial for alleged complicity in the killings of protesters in 2011 resumed on Saturday.
The hearing comes coincidentally just three days after Mubarak’s successor Mohamed Morsi was himself toppled and amid turmoil on the streets pitting Islamists against anti-Morsi protesters.
Mubarak and seven top security chiefs are charged with incitement in the killings of protesters who rose up against him in early 2011. Along with his two sons, Mubarak is also charged with corruption.
The 85-year-old former strongman appeared in the dock behind bars on Saturday, wearing dark sunglasses and a white prison uniform.
During the televised hearing, Cairo’s criminal court heard submissions by the defence before adjourning proceedings until August 17.
At the previous hearing, on June 10, cartons filled with police notebooks and videos of demonstrations on Cairo’s Tahrir Square, epicentre of the 2011 revolt during which almost 850 people died, were submitted to the court.
The original trial last year on charges of complicity in killing demonstrators led to a life sentence for Mubarak and former interior minister Habib al-Adly, but an appeals court ordered a retrial, citing procedural errors.
Islamist Morsi, who was elected president after Mubarak’s ouster, was deposed in a military coup on Wednesday.
Army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced Morsi’s overthrow in a television broadcast, citing his inability to end a deepening political crisis.
Morsi’s supporters on Saturday vowed further protests against the coup, after a night of ferocious clashes that killed 30 people and injured more than 1,100 nationwide.