Egypt court adjourns, changes venue for Mubarak’s final trial

Egypt’s Court of Cassation postponed Thursday the first session in the final trial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak on murder-related charges after he failed to show up to court.

The court adjourned the retrial until 7 April and ordered that it be moved from the High Court building in downtown Cairo to a “more convenient location.”

The High Court building, located in a busy area in central Cairo, has been the target of several unsuccessful terrorist attacks in the past two years.

The court also refused to move the trial to the Police Academy, demanding the Ministry of Justice secure a “neutral location” as a venue.

Since the 2011 revolution, the authorities have conducted many high profile trials, including those of Mubarak and his ousted successor Mohamed Morsi, at the Police Academy on the outskirts of Cairo, citing security concerns.

Mubarak is being retried on charges of complicity in killing protesters during the 25 January 2011 revolution.

A judge said Mubarak did not show up to court because of his failing health and constant need for medical supervision.

The last retrial session was postponed for the same reason.

Mubarak, 87, was initially sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for his complicity in the murder of protestors during the 18-day January 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year autocratic rule.

However, an appeals court later overturned the verdict and ordered a retrial.

In November 2014, the court dismissed the case against Mubarak, citing legal flaws, but prosecutors appealed.

The court upheld the acquittal of the other defendants in the same case, including ex-interior minister Habib El-Adly and four of his aides. This decision is now final and cannot be appealed further.

In June 2015, the Court of Cassation set the start of  Mubarak’s retrial for November, but judges had to postpone.

Earlier this month, the same court upheld a three-year prison sentence for Mubarak and his two sons for corruption. He was convicted of diverting public funds amounting to 125 million Egyptian pounds ($16 million) – meant for the maintenance of presidential palaces – to upgrade his family property.

Source: Ahram Online