Middle East

Egypt court to deliver Mubarak trial verdict on 2 June

Protesters outside court in Cairo (22 Feb 2012)
Image caption Relatives of people killed in the revolution shouted outside the court in Cairo, demanding the death penalty for Mr Mubarak

The judge in the trial of Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak has said he will deliver his verdict on 2 June.

On the final day of six months of hearings, Mr Mubarak turned down the chance to address the court.

His former interior minister, who is also on trial, blamed "foreigners" for the deaths of protesters last February.

The two men deny ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising that forced the former dictator to step down after three decades in power.

The former Interior Minister, Habib al-Adly, addressed the court for an hour and a half during the final hearing on Wednesday, according to Egyptian state media.

Mr Mubarak told the judge he had no comment.

"What the lawyer said is enough," he said, according to Associated Press news agency.

Both men could face the death penalty if convicted, along with six senior police officers, who are co-defendants.

Mr Mubarak's two sons - one-time heir apparent Gamal, and Alaa - are facing separate charges of corruption with their father in the same trial.

The business tycoon, Hussein Salem, is also being tried in absentia.

All the defendants have denied the charges.

The former dictator has been held in a military hospital since the trial began last year.

Prosecutors told the court at Wednesday's hearing that the medical wing of Cairo's Tura prison was now ready to receive Mr Mubarak, according to Agence France-Presse news agency.

Powerful figures

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says Mr Mubarak's trial has never really lived up to its opening moment of drama in August, when the 83-year-old was wheeled into court on a stretcher, despite claims that he was too ill to appear.

In his closing remarks on Monday, chief prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman said of the trial: "This is not a case about the killing of one or 10 or 20 civilians, but a case of an entire nation."

Image caption Hosni Mubarak has been brought on a stretcher for his court appearances

He told the court earlier that it was impossible that Mr Mubarak had not ordered police to open fire on protesters, leaving more than 800 dead.

The prosecution says it has taken testimony from 2,000 witnesses, including police officers who discussed orders from above to arm police with automatic rifles and shotguns to use against protesters.

Our correspondent says that though most observers believe the trial has been conducted relatively fairly, the prosecution maintains that it has been denied access to some of the most important evidence.

The court has not heard logs of calls from the interior ministry in the crucial hours when many of the protesters were killed, prosecutors say, and many key insiders have not given evidence while others have only appeared behind closed doors.

Defence lawyer Farid al-Deeb has said that the Egyptian army was in charge of security when protesters were killed.

He said Mr Mubarak had imposed a curfew on the afternoon of 28 January and transferred responsibility to the head of the army.

The police or interior ministry could therefore not have been ordered to open fire on demonstrations, he argued.

But Mr Deeb did not accuse the army of ordering the killings. He said it had denied ever firing on protesters, and that he believed the army "because it does not lie".

The judge reportedly has to review about 40,000 pages of documents before delivering his verdict.