Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak left hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh on Wednesday to travel to Cairo where he will be tried for his role in killing protesters, the first Arab ruler to be put in the dock since uprisings swept the region, a security official said.
“Mubarak has left Sharm el-Sheikh hospital,” Mohamed Naguib, head of security in South Sinai, told Reuters after a motorcade that included ambulances and security vehicles left the hospital in the Red Sea resort, headed for the local airport.
A large cage has been set up in a hall where the trial will proceed. Defendants in Egyptian criminal trials are put behind bars during court sessions.
“I really hope he will come to court and stand trial. This man has done a lot of bad things to his people, and there is no excuse for him to do so, but whether he will get convicted or not, I really do not think I will live to see this day,” said Mary Gerges, 23, speaking in Cairo on her way to work on Tuesday.
Mubarak will stand trial with his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, as well as former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli and six other senior officers. A business executive included in the trial will be tried in absentia.
Charges range from conspiring to kill protesters to abuse of power to amass wealth.
If convicted, Mubarak could face the death penalty, though few expect that outcome even if some protesters wish it.
One lawyer representing 16 of the roughly 850 people killed in the 18-day uprising, Gamal Eid, said he and some other lawyers representing victims had not been given permits to attend the trial.
“We have asked to view Mubarak’s file … and until now we have not been allowed to do that and for no valid reason,” he said, adding that he had been allowed to see files related to the former interior minister’s case, which has been merged into Mubarak’s case.
“This makes us worry about the seriousness of the trial. But we will go to court tomorrow and stand outside it if we are not allowed in,” he told Reuters.