Lawyer says Egypt's Mubarak in coma, TV denies

CAIRO Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:46pm EDT

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak salutes his supporters during the opening session of the annual conference of the National Democratic Party (NDP) in Cairo in this file photo taken November 1, 2008. REUTERS/Nasser Nuri

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak salutes his supporters during the opening session of the annual conference of the National Democratic Party (NDP) in Cairo in this file photo taken November 1, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Nasser Nuri

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak,hospitalised since April and due to stand trial in August, is in a coma, his lawyer said on Sunday, although the state news agency MENA cited a hospital official as denying the report.

"Mubarak suffered a sudden loss of blood pressure but quickly returned to normal again after the necessary medicines were given to him. His medical condition is stable," MENA quoted the official as saying.

Another medical source told Reuters that Mubarak, 83, occasionally slipped into a coma but his condition was stable. Mubarak's condition has been subject to frequent speculation in the Egyptian media, gaining momentum before his August 3 trial.

Protesters have been camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square since July 8 and have protested in other Egyptian cities. Their demands have included calls for the military council now ruling Egypt to speed up Mubarak's trial.

The former president, who is hospitalized in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, faces charges of abuse of power and killing protesters.

More than 840 died in the 18 days of demonstrations that led to his ouster on February 11.

"I was informed about the sudden deterioration in Mubarak's health and I am now on my way to Sharm el-Sheikh. All that I know so far is that the president is in a full coma," Mubarak's lawyer Farid el-Deeb told Reuters. He did not give more details.

Deeb said in June Mubarak was suffering from cancer, although a government minister later appeared to play down that report.

Some Egyptians have questioned Mubarak's illness, seeing it as a ploy for the army to avoid putting on trial the decorated former air force commander who ruled Egypt for 30 years.

"The news that comes every now and then about him being in bad condition is designed to gain people's sympathy, especially now with the public demanding he comes to a jail in Cairo and face trial in Cairo, not in his hospital," political analyst and activist Hassan Nafaa said.

Mubarak had generally enjoyed good health in office. He underwent gallbladder surgery in Germany in March 2010 but he had appeared to make a full recovery. When in office, officials routinely dismissed talk of ill health including cancer reports.

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Comments (3)
batfly wrote:
Mubarak is probably nestled safely in his 2012 end of the world bunker.

Jul 17, 2011 10:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
thsjefferson wrote:
hmmmm- what a coincidence? a coma- sounds like the CIA is doing their usual work- not by any means do i support Mubaraek- but it is interesting that the powers that be want him to step down and all of a sudden he is in a coma.

Jul 18, 2011 9:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jacqueleen wrote:
Here comes the dawn! What is the USA doing minding Egypt’s business and the same applies to Libya? There is no pre-planned democracy in place only rebellious gorillas in both of those countries. The USA, under this administration has become the aggressor. I thought liberals were peace loving and wanted an end to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan? Soon, under this adminsitration, we will be at war with the world! The peaceful takeover of the USA is failing because the American people, the EAGLE HAS AWAKENED. The Progressives will resort to violence to get their way…God help the world to wake up, too!

Jul 18, 2011 10:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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