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Mubarak trial to resume Wednesday

(Xinhua)

07:59, September 06, 2011

CAIRO, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- A court in Cairo Monday adjourned the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak until Wednesday after hearing the testimony of three witnesses, state TV reported.

Shortly after the third session of the trial began near midday Monday, clashes erupted between Mubarak's lawyers and the civil plaintiffs, as one of the defending lawyers raised Mubarak's photo. Presiding Judge Ahmed Refaat ordered him to leave the court. The clash led to a break lasting more than one hour.

The trial restarted at 11:30 a.m. (0930 GMT) and saw another four breaks. "The court isn't well organized and the defendants' lawyers have chance to talk more than the civil plaintiffs," said Amir Salem, one of the civil plaintiffs who debated with the judge and left the court room.

Three officers from the paramilitary Central Security Forces testified in a private room of the court. The first witness Major General Hussien Saed Mohamed Mursi, communication director of some 350,000 strong forces, said the forces was ordered to use tear gas and water cannon to disperse the demonstrators at the midnight of Jan. 25.

But he failed to give the name of people who gave the order.

A big surprise hit the courtroom when Saed was disclosed to have eliminated the record tapes among the Interior Ministry officials before the revolution and he was sentenced for two years in jail on court.

The second witness, Emad Badry, chief of the central security operations, said huge numbers of weapons were sent on Jan. 26 from his unit to the Tahrir Square, which was the epicenter of the 18 days anti-government demonstrations.

The third witness, Basim Mohamed Hassan, said he got a notice that the Interior Ministry asked for more ammunition to stop protestors breaking into the ministry.

Mubarak was seen lying on a stretcher as he did in the previous two sessions, accompanied by his two sons.

The trial ended at 9:30 p.m., and lasted about ten and a half hours.

Before the trial, scuffles between pro- and anti-Mubarak protesters broke out Monday morning outside the Police Academy, the venue of the trial.

Some protestors threw stones at the security forces and pushed down barriers set by police.

At least 10 people were injured due to the clashes, official MENA news agency reported. Four protestors were arrested.

The third session of Mubarak's trial is not broadcasted live, according to the order of the presiding judge.

Mubarak first appeared in court on Aug. 5 and then on Aug. 15. During the first two sessions, the former Egyptian leader and his two sons denied all the charges against them, including murder and corruption.

Ten Kuwaiti lawyers had decided to defend Mubarak Saturday to show their gratitude to Mubarak's support to Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion in 1990. Four of them were allowed to defend Mubarak, Egypt's state TV said.

There are in all about 1,700 volunteer lawyers defending Mubarak but only 50 of them would be allowed inside the courtroom.


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