Mubarak denies ordering killing of protesters during 2011 uprising in Egypt

Ousted ruler defends his record from the dock

 Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is transported from a helicopter to an ambulance on his way to his trial in Cairo yesterday. Photograph: Ahmed Asadi/EPA

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is transported from a helicopter to an ambulance on his way to his trial in Cairo yesterday. Photograph: Ahmed Asadi/EPA

Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 01:00

Speaking from the dock, ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak yesterday defended his record during his 30-year rule and denied he had ordered the killing of Egyptians during the 18-day uprising of 2011.

“I exhausted my life fighting against enemies of my homeland. I would never hand down orders for the killing of a single Egyptian citizen under any circumstances,” he said.

Testifying for the first time during his retrial on complicity in the deaths of 846 Egyptians, Mr Mubarak, who lay on a gurney in the dock, said he had ruled with “dedication, honour and honesty”, but had been rep- aid with “defamation and allegations” since he was overthrown.

Mr Mubarak was the only Arab ruler deposed during the Arab Spring unrest. Proceedings were broadcast on Egyptian television, giving him and other defendants the chance to put their case before the public.

Mr Mubarak is being retried along with former interior minister Habib El-Adly, who has denied the charge and claimed the 2011 events were not a revolution but a US-orchestrated plot to topple the regime, while arguing that Egyptian youth who joined demonstrations were not part of the conspiracy.

Mr Adly, whose security apparatus was implicated in torture and abuse, argued there was no evidence that Mr Mubarak or his entourage ordered the security forces to fire at demonstrators.

Conviction over

turned In June 2012, Mr

Mubarak and Mr Adly were found guilty of conspiring to kill protesters and sentenced to life in prison. But in March 2013 the conviction was overturned and a retrial began that April. The verdict in the retrial is due to be delivered on September 27th.

Egyptians remain divided over the multiple trials of Mr Mubarak on this and lesser charges of corruption also involving his sons Gamal and Alaa. Critics of his rule are determined that he should be held accountable, while supporters say he should be released.

Human rights activists claim he and his entourage live in five-star facilities and receive special treatment, while thousands of other detainees are held in crowded cells and suffer abuse at the hands of jailers.

Mr Mubarak was released from a €1.5 million hospital suite in Tora prison last August and housed at a military hospital in the leafy Cairo suburb of Maadi, from where he was helicoptered to the nearby police academy for the court session.

The trials of Mubarak regime members have been sidelined by high-profile proceedings against former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who face the death penalty for incitement or involvement in violent protests that erupted after Mr Morsi’s removal in July 2013.