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16 Apr 2011 07:27
Egypt’s ousted president Hosni Mubarak will be moved to a military hospital until he is well enough to face interrogation in a corruption investigation, the prosecutor said on Friday, as the army rulers seek to show they are serious about putting him on trial.
Little is known about what ails the 82-year-old Mubarak, who was admitted to a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday, shortly after he was questioned by prosecutors over corruption allegations.
State media said he suffered a “heart crisis” but medical sources at the hospital, and an unnamed official on the state news agency, said on Friday Mubarak was in good health.
A senior security source said Mubarak was likely to be transferred to a military hospital just outside Cairo within a few hours, which would be his first trip back to the capital he left when he stepped down on February 11 after mass protests.
“Hosni Mubarak will be transported to the International Medical Centre along the Cairo-Ismailia road, given his need for special medical care,” the source told Reuters.
Mubarak denied any wrongdoing on Sunday in his first public comments since stepping down.
The ruling military council, in place since popular protests deposed Mubarak in February, has been under intense pressure to turn the former president over to justice.
Earlier this week, the generals won some respite from mass demonstrations after ordering Mubarak detained for 15 days for questioning into accusations he abused power, embezzled funds and was involved in the killing of protesters.
Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where protesters had gathered to accuse the army of thwarting popular demands to put Mubarak on trial, remained quiet on Friday.
Mubarak’s sons, Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, have also been added to a list of those detained and have been moved to Torah prison on the outskirts of Cairo where presidential aides, ex-ministers, former party officials and executives are held.
Earlier, a spokesperson for the prosecution told the state news agency Mena that Mubarak’s health did not, as yet, permit his transfer to the medical facility at Torah prison.
“But it is imperative the prosecutor be informed once his health improves so that he can be transferred to prison,” the Mena report said.
Security was intensified late on Friday around the glass-walled, pyramid-shaped hospital where Mubarak is staying, accompanied by his wife, Suzanne. A nurse said he was being watched over by at least eight plainclothes guards.
Mubarak was the former commander-in-chief of the military and some in the army view his detention as the humiliation of a man who once led the air force and who they see as a hero of Egypt’s 1973 war with Israel.
But many Egyptians see Mubarak as a repressive autocrat whose lengthy rule benefitted only a few, while driving the majority of the country’s 80-million people into poverty.
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