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Mubarak retrial starts, adjourned until June 8 - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak sitting behind bars during his retrial at the Police Academy in Cairo on May 11, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/EGYPTIAN TV)

An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak sitting behind bars during his retrial at the Police Academy in Cairo on May 11, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/EGYPTIAN TV)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The retrial of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak began on Saturday but was quickly adjourned until June 8.

Presiding judge Mahmoud Kamel El-Rashidi adjourned the retrial of the former president, his two sons, former interior minister Habib El-Adly, and six of El-Adly’s top aides to allow the court to review some 55,000 pages of documentation.

The brief hearing saw all defendants plead not guilty to the charges against them.

The defendants have been charged in three separate cases: complicity in the killing of protesters during the revolution, corruption, and exporting natural gas to Israel at below-market prices.

The ousted president had previously been convicted and received a sentence of life imprisonment in June 2012, but was granted a retrial in January due to procedural irregularities in the initial trial.

The retrial had been scheduled to begin on April 13, but the then-presiding judge, Mustafa Hassan Abdulla, recused himself in a hearing that lasted mere seconds.

The beginning of Saturday’s retrial was marred by unrest after a team of Kuwaiti lawyers were refused entry to the court. The Kuwaiti lawyers had offered their legal services to Mubarak, but this offer was met with objection from the opposing side.

The presiding judge asked Mubarak if he would accept the Kuwaiti legal team’s offer, and in a rare vocal statement from Mubarak in court, the ousted president said he would leave this decision up to his main legal representative, Farid Al-Deeb. Farid Al-Deeb rejected the offer.

Egyptian state TV showed the team of Kuwaiti lawyers standing outside the court.

There was also trouble between the opposing lawyers inside the court. Deputy chairman of the Egyptian Lawyer’s Union Ahmed El-Damaty complained of the treatment that the plaintiffs’ lawyers received, in comparison with Mubarak’s legal team.

“The defendants’ lawyers enter [the Police Academy where this trial is being held] in private cars, while we have to stand on foot and argue with security to be allowed in,” he said.

There are more than 1,700 plaintiffs in the case against the Mubarak regime figures in the dock.

There were fewer crowds outside the court than at previous Mubarak trial appearances, with many speculating that Egypt has had its fill of news regarding the trial and retrial of the ousted leader.

Despite this, there was a police presence which ensured that supporters of the former president were kept separate from the families of protesters slain during the January 25 revolution.

One woman, Umm Moaz, whose son had been killing during the uprising, told AFP that she had little trust in the Egyptian judiciary.

“I have no hope that they will ensure justice for my son or any martyr. My whole life has been turned upside down,” she said.