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Mubarak's trial moved to police academy for security reasons

By the CNN Wire Staff
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak awaits trial on charges of ordering police to kill anti-government protesters
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak awaits trial on charges of ordering police to kill anti-government protesters
  • Hosni Mubarak's trial was scheduled to take place at a Cairo convention hall
  • The former president and his former interior minister could face death sentences
  • Six more face trial on the same charges
  • Amnesty International: 840 were killed and more than 6,000 wounded in Egypt's uprising

Cairo (CNN) -- The trial of former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak has been moved to a police academy in Cairo for added security, the minister of justice said.

The trial had been scheduled to take place at a Cairo convention hall Wednesday.

The 83-year-old former president and his former interior minister, Habib El Adly, face possible death sentences if convicted of unleashing police on the demonstrations that drove them from office in February.

Six of El Adly's assistants face trial on the same charges, Justice Minister Mohamed Abdel Aziz Al Guindy said Saturday.

Mubarak has denied the charges.

Islamist groups mobilize in Egypt
  • Egypt
  • Hosni Mubarak

The human rights group Amnesty International has estimated that at least 840 people were killed and more than 6,000 wounded during the three-week uprising that toppled Mubarak.

A police officer accused of indiscriminately shooting protesters has been sentenced to death in absentia.

In addition, Mubarak, his sons Gamal and Alaa, and a business associate face trial on corruption charges.

The trial will be open to the public under heavy security and carried on Egyptian state television, Guindy said.

The trial is set to open on the third day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Only 600 people will be allowed into the courtroom, Judge Ahmed Refaat announced Sunday, including the families of those who died. No cameras or mobile phones will be allowed. Foreign press and Egyptian media will be allowed to attend.

The trial will continue in sessions throughout the month until a verdict is reached, the judge said. Court will be in session four times a month during the trial, as opposed to the usual once a month. The trial will take place in the main auditorium of the academy.

Mubarak ruled Egypt with an iron fist for nearly 30 years before the revolt that toppled him February 11, leaving the nation under the control of a military council. He has been hospitalized since suffering heart palpitations in April, but Health Minister Amr Helmy declared Thursday that the ailing former strongman is "fit to stand trial, given a proper transportation arrangement."

Prosecutors have said Mubarak suffers from depression, fatigue, repeated irregular heartbeats, low blood pressure that could lead to fainting and an increased risk of heart attack. His lawyer disclosed in June that the ex-president had been struggling with complications from a previously concealed 2010 surgery for stomach cancer.

Earlier this month, hospital officials reported that Mubarak had fallen into a brief coma and recently said that he was depressed and refusing to eat as he awaits trial.

Journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy contributed to this report.

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