The ongoing trial of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is set to resume on Wednesday after an appeals court rejected a motion filed against presiding judge Ahmed Rafaat. The motion had charged that Rafaat was biased towards the defendant and called for his replacement.
Following testimony delivered in September by Field-Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the court had been scheduled to hear testimony from Armed Forces Chief of Staff and SCAF number-two Sami Anan.
Anan’s testimony, however, which had originally been scheduled for the end of October, was postponed until the court had a chance to examine the motion against Rafaat. Rights lawyer Gamal Eid said he expected a date to be set for Anan’s testimony at Wednesday’s court session.
Meanwhile, Mubarak lawyer Yasser Abd El-Razeq stated on Monday that recent violent clashes in downtown Cairo had served to absolve Mubarak of charges that he had ordered the killing of unarmed protesters during Egypt’s 18-day uprising in January. Abd El-Razeq cited “evidence” suggesting that the same weapons used to kill protesters in January had recently been used to kill activists on Cairo’s flashpoint Mohamed Mahmoud Street and outside the nearby Cabinet building.
He went on to point to “proof of a conspiracy” masterminded by Lebanese Shiite resistance faction Hezbollah and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, both of which, he alleged, had been involved in stealing police cars and fire trucks used to run down protestors in January.
Mubarak stands accused of plotting with former interior minister Habib El-Adly to intentionally murder hundreds of unarmed protestors during the uprising in order to protect the embattled Mubarak regime. Six former interior ministry officials also face similar charges.
Mubarak also faces corruption charges, including the exploitation of his executive position to illegally accumulate material wealth.