Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Mubarak hospitalised in Sharm el-Sheikh | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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CAIRO, (AFP) — Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was hospitalised in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh Tuesday, two days after he was summoned for questioning by prosecutors, security sources told AFP.

“Mubarak was admitted to the Sharm el-Sheikh International Hospital this afternoon, amid a very heavy security presence in the town,” a security source told AFP.

Contacted by AFP, a hospital source refused to comment on the news and said that “the minister of health will make an announcement” shortly.

Mubarak was admitted by his bodyguards to the VIP wing of the hospital, state television reported, adding that the hospital was not accepting any patients except for emergency cases.

Police cars and ambulances surrounded the hospital, as well as a heavy military police presence, the television said.

Mubarak’s admission to hospital follows state media reports that he was due to be questioned imminently over violence against protesters and alleged corruption.

Nationwide protests that erupted on January 25 and left an estimated 800 people dead, forced Mubarak to give up his 30-year grip on power and hand the reins to a military council.

On Sunday, public prosecutor Abdel Magid Mahmud ordered Mubarak and his sons to be questioned, as part of a sweeping probe into corruption and abuse.

They will be asked about allegations that they were “connected to the crimes of assault against protesters, leading to deaths and injuries,” the official MENA news agency said on Sunday.

The former president will also be quizzed about allegations of graft, it added.

The announcement came after the broadcast of an audio tape in which Mubarak defended his reputation and after weeks of mounting protests calling for him to be put on trial.

In the audio message aired on the pan-Arab television network Al-Arabiya, the 82-year-old complained he was the victim of a smear campaign.

He pledged his assistance in a probe of his family’s foreign assets, but his defiance in threatening lawsuits against the media angered Egyptians who have been pressing for his trial.

After he resigned, Mubarak and his family moved to a residence in Sharm el-Sheikh. Although he is subject to a travel ban, his relative freedom has been a thorn in the side of the military rulers.

Weekly protests demanding his trial have attracted tens of thousands and eventually led to a deadly clash with soldiers early on Saturday morning after they tried to clear an overnight demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

The military acknowledged that one person died on Saturday night from a gunshot wound but denied it used force or live ammunition to disperse the protesters.

Idolised as a saviour at the beginning of the revolt because it refused to crack down on protesters, the army has faced increasing criticism for stalling on reforms, not putting Mubarak in the dock and alleged human rights abuses.