Egypt's most hated and feared man goes on trial

Hosni Mubarak
Rania Cairo, April 26: Egypt's former interior minister Habib al-Adly today (April 26) became the first of the close aides of ousted president Hosni Mubarak to be put on trial accused of ordering firing on demonstrators during protests that toppled his former boss.

Adly reported to wield considerable power in the former regime appeared on the docks along with his six former aides and his indictment could sound more trouble for his former boss.

The minister who was country's top security official and spy pleaded innocent to charges of ordering the killing of unarmed protesters during the three-week-long uprising.

The Cairo Criminal Court after initial submissions and reading of charges adjourned the trial till May 21. The powerful former interior minister has also been called to answer to charges that he withdrew police from the streets of Cairo in the early days of protest, triggering a lawless free for all.

A recent government judicial panel has said that 850 people were killed and more than several thousand wounded during 18 days of massive street protests in the Egyptian capital.

The trial proceedings were held in the New Cairo Court in Taggamu el Khamis area, a suburb of Cairo, amid heavy security presence of armed forces and police.

Adly was one of the most hated and feared figures of the old regime, his removal and putting him on trial was one of the main demands in the Egyptian uprising.

The former minister along with a German businessman and former finance minister Yusuf Boutros-Ghali is also accused of illegally profiting by abuse of office.

The trial judge did not allow public into the court premises during the hearing, but hundreds of protesters who claimed to have lost loved ones in the uprising held a noisy demonstration outside, shouting "death penalty for Adly."

Two other former ministers Samih Fahmi and Mahmmud Latif have also been sent notices to answer charges of selling natural gas to Israel below market prices, leading to a loss to exchequer of USD 714 million.

Meanwhile, reports said that the former president whose detention has been extended by 15 days more, is likely to be shifted to Tora prison hospital. His two sons Alaa and Gamal are imprisoned in the same jail.


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