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Lawyers demand death sentence for Mubarak

From Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, For CNN
January 9, 2012 -- Updated 1108 GMT (1908 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "His negligence and actions" endangered national security, Bakr says
  • Lawyer says he provided evidence to court about sniper presence on rooftops
  • Attorney says Mubarak is "directly responsible" for killings
  • The former Egyptian president denies the charges against him

Cairo (CNN) -- Civil rights lawyers demanded the death penalty for former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday, joining prosecutor's calls for him to be executed.

"We merged our voice with the prosecutor's closing arguments from last week's hearing and demanded the death sentence to Mubarak, his former interior minister Habib El Adly, and four of his aides for killing hundreds of protesters and injuring thousands more," attorney Khalid Abu Bakr told CNN. "We have proof Mubarak is directly responsible for the killings along with El Adly and his aides."

Abu Bakr said Mubarak deserved to die for violating Egypt's criminal law 77.

"His negligence and actions led to endangering the national security of the country," he said.

The attorney also provided the court with a list of alleged suspects he wants indicted, including police officers he said where caught on camera firing their weapons on protesters.

Another lawyer, Sameh Ashour, said he provided evidence to the court "of communication between security forces that prove the presence of snipers on rooftop buildings during the revolution."

The judge, Ahmed Refaat, has set aside Monday and Tuesday to hear from at least 10 civil rights lawyers. The defense is expected to make its closing arguments later in the week.

"The judge will then decide on a day to announce the final verdict," said Adel Saeed, the official spokesman of the General Prosecutor's office. "If he is fast, we may see a verdict before January 25th" -- the day the Egyptian uprising began last year.

Last week, the Russian foreign ministry issued a statement, expressing its "deep concern" over the prosecutor's request for a death sentence to Mubarak and calling on Egypt to consider Mubarak's old age and poor health. Germany and France also issued statements of "concern."

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Mubarak is accused of corruption and ordering protesters killed during the country's uprising last year. He has denied the charges.

Two of Mubarak's sons are also on trial on a variety of charges. The sons, Gamal and Alaa, have pleaded not guilty.

Lawyers familiar with the case said it is unlikely Mubarak and his fellow defendants will receive the death penalty.

This is in part because of the difficulty in proving the president ordered the killings, the lawyers said.

Analysts agreed that while some Egyptians might welcome a death sentence for Mubarak, particularly at a time of heightened tension as the anniversary of the uprising approaches, he is more likely to receive a prison term.

Many Egyptians have criticized the court proceedings and some worry that Mubarak may be acquitted of the murder charges. Five police officers accused of killing protesters already have been acquitted.

Amnesty International had estimated more than 840 protesters were killed and 6,000 injured. Saeed, the prosecutor's spokesman, said the prosecutor's estimate of 225 deaths and more than 1,300 injured is lower "because there has been a differentiation between those killed outside police stations while attacking the precinct and those shot while protesting."

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