CAIRO: Attorney General Moustafa Suleiman said that slander and fabrication, either intentionally or unintentionally, by the defendants’ lawyers in Mubarak’s trial over the last month is against the law and requires legal action.
The Cairo Criminal Court listened Monday to the prosecution’s final case and the civil rights plaintiffs on the arguments raised by the defense in the case in which ousted president Hosni Mubarak, his two sons Alaa and Gamal, former interior minister Habib El-Adly and six of his aides are accused of graft as well as killing protesters during the January uprising.
Suleiman said in his closing remarks that the former president should be given the death penalty, saying he authorized the use of live ammunition and a shoot-to-kill policy against peaceful protesters.
"This is not a case about the killing of one or ten or 20 civilians, but a case of an entire nation," he told the court.
He added that Mubarak’s lawyer’s claim that his client is still president is legally invalid.
"The first defendant [Mubarak] didn’t leave power voluntarily, but was deposed by the people," he said.
He stressed that the legitimacy of the revolution in accordance with the provisions of the constitution withdrew the powers of Mubarak and his regime and dropped the constitution that governed it, refuting the claims of lawyer Farid El-Deeb that Mubarak was still Egypt’s president.
The Attorney General claimed that the interior ministry could have presented information about the original perpetrators in this case to the public prosecution for the investigations but did not.
He explained that there are more than 1,500 witnesses who agreed that the police attacked demonstrators, and that it was impossible for the prosecution to reach the original perpetrators – the police officers – as they were distributed over the squares and in the middle of large crowds.
"We hope that someone’s conscience is awoken and the unknown principal perpetrators are reported, but this doesn’t mean that the [defendants] will escape punishment," he said.
As for accusing unidentified foreign elements and the security of the American University in Cairo (AUC) of killing protesters, Suleiman said that the investigation did not reach any of these elements, adding that the only role Hamas and Hezbollah played was smuggling their kin after storming Egyptian prisons.
Listening attentively to the closing remarks, the 83-year-old Mubarak sat upright in his hospital bed in the courtroom cage Wednesday.
His son Gamal and one-time heir apparent was seen in the defendants cage whispering into his father’s ear from time to time. His elder son Alaa held a copy of the Quran and paced around nervously in the defendants cage, wringing his hands throughout much of the prosecution’s remarks. Both sons are facing corruption charges in the same trial.
The prosecution’s argument, however, was criticized by the defendants’ lawyers.
"It was only poetic with no legal or constitutional basis," Essam El-Batawy, El-Adly’s lawyer told Daily News Egypt.
Meanwhile, Sameh Ashour, head of the Lawyers’ Syndicate and head of the plaintiff lawyers, spoke of a conspiracy during Monday’s hearing.
"It doesn’t make sense that a communications engineer formatted the CD that included the calls of the central security operation room during the revolution unless it was intentional," he said.
The case was adjourned to Wednesday when the court will hear the final comments of the defendants and their lawyers.
"Defendants Habib El-Adly and Adly Fayed chose to comment next Wednesday by themselves and their speech will be the last thing said in the case before the verdict," El-Batawy said.
Atef El-Manawy, lawyer of Ismail El-Sha’er who was one of El-Adly’s aides, told DNE that Presiding Judge Ahmed Refaat allowed the defendants to speak by head of the session.
"Refaat is an honorable man; after each lawyer ended his defense he would ask defendants to comment if they wanted," he said.
Refaat will set the date for issuing the verdict in the case on Wednesday.
"There is a legal rule that says that the lawyers of the defendants should be the last to speak in court," El-Manawy said.
Refaat praised the prosecution for how it handled the investigation, despite attempts to "tinker with it."
"The important responsibility on the court can only be appreciated by great men," Refaat said. "The only thing we look to is God and the documents of this case." –Additional reporting by AP.