The head defense lawyer in the trial for former president Hosni Mubarak asserted that Mubarak is still the president of Egypt because he never signed a letter of resignation.
The document, he explained, was signed by then-vice-president Omar Suleiman, who Mubarak appointed in response to the uprisings.
As such, al-Deeb said that the criminal court trying Mubarak does not have the authority to do so, and that his case must be heard within a special tribunal court.
Al-Deeb has dismissed the legitimacy of the trial on this technicality, saying that the court could not convict the man who activists and families of those killed in January and February last year say is responsible for the bloodshed.
The head lawyer has also suggested that the former ruler should be tried in a military court, in light of his long military career.
The defense team has also claimed that there is “no strong evidence” linking the former leader with a money-making deal in which gas was exported to Israel for discounted rate. They also say that Mubarak is innocent of charges regarding his role in the order to shoot peaceful protesters in the 18 days of uprisings that ousted his regime.
The defense has had five days to give their argument to the court.
The prosecution has already rested their case in the ongoing investigation, calling for Mubarak to face the death penalty for his involvement in the deaths of around 800 peaceful protesters.
The trial will continue with an investigation into former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six of Mubarak’s former aids, with the last hearing in the trial scheduled for February 16.
Activists and families of the victims of the uprising have demanded justice, telling Bikyamasr.com from the court they “expect Mubarak to face the same fate as our loved ones for what he did to this country.”
Mubarak’s two sons, Gamal and Alaa, are also on trial for financial corruption and are accused of using their positions as the president’s sons to seal illegal deals, raising the family’s fortune to tens of millions of dollars.
By Sarah Sheffer