Mubarak trial adjourned over claims of court bias
An Egyptian court yesterday adjourned the trial of former president Hosni Mubarak to December 28 owing to a lawsuit accusing the court panel of bias, state television reported.
The decision was announced by presiding judge Ahmad Refaat at a 15-minute session, added the TV station. Mubarak, his two sons, Ala’a and Jamal, former interior minister Habib Al Adly and six senior policemen attended yesterday’s session.
Their trial started on August 3 among media frenzy as it marked the first time an Egyptian ruler was ever prosecuted. Mubarak, Al Adly and the six senior policemen are being tried on charges of ordering the killing of around 850 civilians during a popular uprising earlier this year.
Mubarak, 83, along with his two sons, meanwhile, faces charges of corruption and influence peddling. The postponement has further angered Egyptians who believe not much has changed since their revolution earlier this year.
The death of an Egyptian prisoner last week, allegedly due to torture by police, has renewed fears in the country that torture is still systematic even after the toppling of Mubarak’s regime.
Essam Atta, 24, was taken on Thursday from the high-security Torah prison near Cairo to a hospital in serious condition. He died a little later. His family and activists claim that Atta was tortured by policemen in the prison.
Denying the accusation, the Interior Ministry said he had died due to an overdose of drugs.
“Torturing Atta to death shows that our revolution has not achieved its goals,” said Mamdouh Hamza, a prominent opposition activist.