Egypt's Mubarak set to go on trial August 3

CAIRO Wed Jun 1, 2011 12:55pm EDT

Supporters of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak pray outside Moustafa Mahmoud Mosque in Mohandessin neighborhood in Cairo February 18, 2011. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Supporters of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak pray outside Moustafa Mahmoud Mosque in Mohandessin neighborhood in Cairo February 18, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, overthrown by a popular uprising this year, was ordered on Wednesday to stand trial in August for the killing of protesters on charges that could carry the death penalty.

Mubarak, ousted on February 11 after mass protests demanding an end to his 30 years in power, has been questioned about his role in a crackdown in which more than 840 demonstrators died, as well as about alleged corruption.

He could face the death penalty if convicted on the charge of "pre-meditated killing."

His two sons, Gamal, who was once viewed as being groomed for the presidency, and Alaa, will also stand trial alongside their father and prominent business executive Hussein Salem.

Judge Sayed Abdel-Azim, the head of the appeals court, said the trial would open on August 3 in a Cairo criminal court.

Egypt's public prosecutor said on Tuesday that Mubarak was in no condition to be transferred to a prison hospital and would for now stay in a health facility in a Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he has been detained since mid-April.

Mubarak was admitted to hospital after reportedly suffering heart problems during his initial questioning.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States hoped Egypt would ensure due process for Mubarak, who was long a close Arab ally of Washington.

While emphasizing that it was up to the Egyptians to decide whether to prosecute Mubarak, she said any trial should be conducted to the highest standard. "Obviously we want to see the rule of law," she told reporters.

Mubarak's alleged crimes listed by the prosecutor include pre-meditated murder, abuse of influence, wasting public funds and unlawfully making private financial gains.

His sons and other former top officials are being held in Torah prison on the outskirts of Cairo.

(Writing by Edmund Blair, editing by Alistair Lyon)

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