Mubarak headed for hospital, then prison


CAIRO – Egypt’s state prosecutor on Friday decided to move ailing ex-president Hosni Mubarak to a military hospital, then to prison when his health improves, in a probe over a deadly crackdown on protesters that could send him to the gallows, state media reported.
Mubarak and his sons Gamal and Alaa were remanded into custody this week on suspicion of involvement in the deaths of protesters during the 18-day protest that forced him to resign in February. If convicted on the most serious charges, he could face life in prison or execution by hanging, a senior judge has said.
Prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmud “decided to transfer the former president Hosni Mubarak to one of the military hospitals”, from one in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he has been living since his ouster, state news agency MENA reported. Mubarak would be placed under the “necessary security.”
MENA added that Mubarak would remain “under preventive custody according to prison laws with the obligation of informing the state prosecution as soon his health improves and the opportunity arises to move him to a prison”. Mubarak suffered a heart attack on Tuesday during questioning by prosecutors over his alleged involvement in the deaths of protesters and was placed in intensive care.
By Thursday, MENA said, his condition was stable. Mubarak and his two sons were subsequently remanded in custody for 15 days over their possible involvement in the crackdown that killed an estimated 800 people. None of the three has yet been charged with anything.
Government-owned Al-Ahram newspaper quoted a judge as saying former interior minister Habib al-Adly, himself on trial over ordering the shooting of protesters, had given evidence that he had received the same order from Mubarak. Appeals Court Judge Zakaraia Shalash was quoted as saying that, “if proven, he (Mubarak) will receive the same punishment as the person who carried it out, and it could reach execution if it is proven that peaceful demonstrators were killed with premeditation.”
MENA reported that the prosecution had asked the interior ministry to transfer Mubarak to a hospital in Cairo’s Tora prison, where his sons are being held, along with a growing number of former ministers and regime officials. The interior minister responded by saying the prison’s hospital was not equipped to deal with a potential rapid decline in the 82-year-old’s health and recommended a military hospital, the report said.
The report did not specify where he would be moved but police officials said Mubarak would be sent to the International Medical Centre on the outskirts of Cairo, but that he had not yet been transferred. Meanwhile, state television said the three Mubaraks will also face questioning by the justice ministry’s graft division next week on suspicion of financial corruption, which Mubarak vehemently denied in a message recently aired on television.
Although Mubarak was confined to his villa in Sharm el-Sheikh after his ouster, his relative freedom became a thorn in the side of the ruling military council.
Protests calling for his trial attracted tens of thousands of people and eventually led to a deadly clash with soldiers when they dispersed an overnight demonstration in Cairo earlier this month.]