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Mubarak in 'full coma,' Egyptian government says

Hosni Mubarak appears in court June 2 when he was sentenced to life in prison for his role in ordering the killings of protesters.

Story highlights

  • Defibrillators have been used several times to revive Hosni Mubarak, an official says
  • Mubarak has entered "into full coma," an Interior Ministry spokesman says
  • The former Egyptian president's attorney describes his condition as very critical
  • Victims' lawyer: Mubarak attorney may be using health problems to get him out of prison

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was in a coma Monday in a Cairo prison hospital, officials said.

Defibrillators have been used several times to revive Mubarak "due to heart complications," said Adel Saeed, the prosecutor's spokesman.

"Mubarak entered today into full coma. His two sons Gamal and Alaa submitted a request to the prison authority to move beside him and it has been accepted," Interior Ministry spokesman Alaa Mahmoud said. "His health has been deteriorating since the verdict, with high blood pressure, problems breathing, and irregular heartbeat."

Gamal and Alaa Mubarak are also in prison, facing charges of insider trading and money laundering.

The elder Mubarak, 84, was sentenced to life in prison on June 2 for the killing of pro-democracy demonstrators last year. Mubarak was already suffering from health problems and attended court on a gurney.

Mubarak's lawyer described the former strongman's condition as "very critical."

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    "I visited him on Saturday and he fell in and out of consciousness three times. He has water concentrated around the heart, which can develop into a heart attack or brain blood clot and would require a rescue operation within 60 minutes," lawyer Fareed El Deeb said.

    El Deeb said a prosecutor had denied his request to transfer Mubarak from prison to a military hospital. El Deeb said he was appealing that decision, arguing that the prison hospital was poorly equipped to handle Mubarak's care.

    "They were still bringing in an X-ray machine on Saturday during my visit, and there are no special nurses," El Deeb said. "I consider the prosecutor and government officials responsible if he dies of negligence. They are just trying to please the revolutionaries and Muslim Brotherhood by keeping him in that so-called hospital."

    The prosecutor's spokesman said prison authorities are following Egyptian law to make sure "all health support is given to all patients."

    "If they see that Mubarak's health requires his transfer to a hospital outside due to lack of equipment, then they can take the transfer decision without going back to the prosecutor," Saeed said.

    El Deeb called for international organizations to visit the prison hospital, but a lawyer who represented victims' families during Mubarak's trial said an inspection isn't necessary, since a prosecutor has deemed the facility suitable.

    "Mubarak's imprisonment in Tura is according to the law and in no way to please revolutionaries or the Egyptian people. There are many cases like him in the prison, and they should all be treated equally by the government," attorney Khaled Abu Bakr said.

    Mubarak's lawyer may be using the former leader's health as a reason to get him transferred out of the prison, Abu Bakr said.

    Mubarak's wife, Suzanne, and his son's wives were granted a pass to visit him Sunday in the Tura prison, Mahmoud said.

    Last Wednesday, a prosecutor's spokesman said Mubarak's health had taken a turn for the worse, and he was placed on a ventilator several times.

    Officials last week said Mubarak was in intensive care at the Tura prison hospital, suffering from a sharp rise in blood pressure and shortness of breath.

    Mubarak also had been suffering from a nervous breakdown and severe depression since being transferred to the hospital immediately after the June 2 verdict, Egypt's state-run MENA news agency reported last week.