Middle East

Court in Egypt orders retrial for Mubarak after appeal

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Media captionThe ruling was met with cries of "Long live justice!" by Mubarak supporters

A court in Egypt has ordered a retrial for ex-President Hosni Mubarak after accepting an appeal against his life sentence over the deaths of protesters.

Mubarak, 84, was overthrown in 2011 after mass street protests, and jailed in June. About 850 people were killed in a crackdown by security forces.

The ex-leader, who remains in custody, will also be retried on corruption charges for which he was acquitted.

Former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly will be retried on the same charges.

Mubarak's sons Gamal and Alaa, and fugitive businessman Hussein Salem also had their acquittals on corruption charges overturned and will be retried.

No specific reason was given for Sunday's rulings, but legal experts said procedural issues with the original trials were a factor, the Associated Press news agency reported.

A retrial cannot result in a harsher penalty, but could re-impose a maximum life sentence or even lead to an acquittal. No date for the retrial has been set.

'Same evidence'

In a brief announcement Judge Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman said: "The court has ruled to accept the appeal filed by the defendants... and orders a retrial."

Mohamed Abdel Razek, one of Mubarak's lawyers, told Reuters news agency the retrial would be based on the same evidence used in the previous trial.

"No new evidence will be added to the case," he said.

A new panel of judges could consider the former leader's health when issuing their verdict, Mubarak's lawyer added.

Since Mubarak was jailed in Cairo, there have been frequent reports about his ill-health.

He is currently in a military hospital after hurting himself in a fall in his prison bathroom last month.

On Saturday, the former leader was reportedly questioned over gifts worth millions of Egyptian pounds which he allegedly received from the country's flagship state newspaper, Al-Ahram.

He was ordered detained for 15 days pending the investigation, a judicial source told AFP news agency.

'We love you'

Sunday's ruling was met with cries of "Long live justice!" by Mubarak supporters who held up his picture and hugged each other in the courtroom while dozens more outside shouted "We love you, president!", AFP news agency reports.

On 2 June, following a 10-month trial, Mubarak and Adly were convicted of conspiring in the killing of protesters.

The two men had faced possible death sentences.

Gamal and Alaa remain in prison while on trial for alleged insider trading and using their influence to buy state land at a fraction of its value.

Families of victims were disappointed that Mubarak had not been convicted of ordering the killings, the BBC's Aleem Maqbool reports from Cairo.

There was also dismay among some that he had not been tried for abuses allegedly committed earlier in his rule.

At the same trial in June, Mubarak was acquitted of corruption.