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January 13, 2013 1:23 pm
An appeals court in Cairo has ordered a retrial for Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president sentenced last year to life in prison in connection with the murder of hundreds of demonstrators during the 2011 uprising that toppled his rule.
The judge accepted appeals by Mr Mubarak and Habib al-Adly, his interior minister, who is also serving a life sentence in connection with the killings. No date has been set for the retrial.
The former president had been found guilty last June of failing to stop the killings but not of ordering police to open fire on the demonstrators.
The appeals court judge also ordered new trials for six police chiefs who had been acquitted during the same trial of charges in relation to the killings – a ruling which provoked public anger because it meant that no one was convicted of killing the protesters.
Lawyers and prosecutors said at the time that the evidence submitted to court was weak and that state security agencies and the intelligence service had failed to co-operate with investigators.
The findings of a recently completed investigation into the killings ordered by Mohamed Morsi, the Islamist president, have not been released.
But according to leaks in the press, Mr Mubarak was able to watch the events of the uprising against him unfolding live via a special feed delivered by cameras from Tahrir Square, the centre of the revolt.
Retrials have also been ordered for Mr Mubarak’s two sons, Alaa and Gamal, along with Hussein Salem, a close business associate, who had all been acquitted of corruption charges during the original trial in which the murder charges were heard.
Although Mr Mubarak’s appeal has been accepted, he is not expected to be set free because he faces accusations in a separate corruption case which has not been heard in court yet.
On Sunday a prosecutor ordered Mr Mubarak to be held for 15 days pending the completion of the investigations into expensive gifts he and other former regime officials are said to have received from al-Ahram, the main state-owned newspaper.
The former president, who is 84 and frail, was moved last month to a military hospital in a Cairo suburb after he slipped and injured himself in a bathroom in a prison medical facility.
Mr Mubarak has been reported several times to be near death in the past two years. He attended his trial hearings, lying down, on a hospital trolley that was brought to court aboard a medical helicopter.
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