Mubarak refusing to eat food as his trial approaches

Ex-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
From Rania Cairo, Jul 27: To go on trial next week on charges that could carry the death penalty, deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is refusing to eat solid food in jail and is suffering from "severe infirmity", official news agency MENA reported.

It quoted Mohammed Fathallah, the head of the hospital in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El Sheik as saying that Mubarak was only partaking liquids and had lost weight.

Mubarak, 83, has been in hospital in the resort town, near his summer home, since he complained of heart pains when first interrogated after being detained on April 1.

"He completely abstains from food and intakes only some liquid and juices", the doctor was quoted, adding that his condition was becoming "precarious".

Mubarak is scheduled to stand trial on August 3 with his two sons and former interior minister Habib Al-Adil and six police commanders. A judge has ruled that Mubarak would face trial with Al-Adil on charges of police opening fire on protesters at the iconic Tahrir square.

The news report has intensified speculation that Mubarak's illness could lead to postponement of his trial, which might trigger a new wave of protests on the streets of Cairo.

The protesters who led the February 11 uprising leading to the downfall of Mubarak are back in strength at the Tahrir square, charging the ruling military council of delaying the trial and purge of Mubarak and his close aides.

New York Times quoting Arab sources reported that protesters were wary that military was reluctant to humiliate Mubarak further and prosecutors may be looking at excuses to postpone the trial.

The location of Mubarak's trial has not been announced, but judicial sources say that it probably will be held at Sharm El Sheik.


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