Update: Egypt Judge Withdraws From Mubarak Trial

The judge presiding over the retrial of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has withdrawn himself from the case as the trial opened in Cairo.

There were chaotic scenes as the judge said he was referring the trial to another court.

Mr Mubarak was convicted last June of conspiring to kill protesters during the 2011 revolt that ended his rule.

He was sentenced to life but a retrial was ordered in January after he appealed against the sentence.

About 850 people were killed in the 2011 crackdown.

Judge Mustafa Hassan Abdullah announced his decision at the start of the retrial at a police academy on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital.

Amid shouting in the courtroom – delaying the start of proceedings – the judge said he was referring the case to the Cairo appeals court as he felt “unease” in reviewing the case, Reuters news agency reported.

That court is then expected to appoint a new panel to hear the retrial.

Mr Mubarak, 84, is in poor health and currently being held in a military hospital in Cairo.

On Saturday, he was flown by helicopter to the courthouse at a police academy on the outskirts of Cairo.

State TV showed him being wheeled into the building on a stretcher, wearing a white outfit. Wearing dark glasses and with an intravenous cannula on his hand, he later waved to the courtroom from inside a cage.

His first trial, at which he also appeared on a stretcher, lasted 10 months.

Two sons of the former leader, former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six aides will also be re-tried, facing the same charges as before.

Al-Adly was sentenced to life last year for contributing to the killing of protesters, and for five and 12 years for corruption charges.

Mr Mubarak’s sons, Gamal and Alaa, will be retried on corruption charges for which they were acquitted in June, because of the expiry of a statute of limitations.

The former president was also found not guilty of corruption.

Businessman Hussein Salem, a close associated of Mubarak, is being retried in his absence – he went to Spain after being cleared of fraud in his first trial.

Courtesy BBC, Reuters

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