Hosni Mubarak trial postponed until end of the year

Egyptians supporters of former President Hosni Mubarak gather outside the courts set up at the Police Academy

The next session in the trial of  former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been postponed until late December.

The decision follows calls for the appointment of a new presiding judge to replace Ahmed Refax.

Mr Mubarak, 83, is accused of ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising earlier this year which ended his rule. He denies the charges.

His trial is now due to resume on 28 December, two days after a separate court rules on replacing Mr Refaat.

Lawyers for the alleged victims of Mr Mubarak have petitioned the court demanding that the judge be replaced.

In earlier sessions, Mr Refaat defended the court’s integrity and lashed out at critics.

Mr Mubarak, his two sons, the former interior minister and senior police officers – who face a range of charges – were in the Cairo court on Sunday when the judge announced the adjournment. All defendants deny the charges against them.

Riot police have often had to separate anti- and pro-Mubarak crowds who have fought outside the police academy courthouse during the trial.

In mid-August, the judge took the decision to ban live TV coverage, saying he was exasperated by lawyers showing off for the television cameras.

At earlier court hearings, TV images showed Mr Mubarak, who led Egypt for 30 years, in a cage on a sick bed.

(www.bbc.co.uk / 30.10.2011)

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