CAIRO (Reuters) - The retrial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on charges of complicity in the killing of demonstrators in the uprising that ousted him will start on May 11, a Cairo appeals court said on Wednesday.
The former president was also ordered to be transferred back to prison from a military hospital on Wednesday on the recommendation of a medical team after he appeared fitter at his aborted retrial on Saturday.
A first attempt to hold the retrial collapsed on Saturday when the presiding judge withdrew from the case and referred it to another court. Mustafa Hassan Abdullah had been widely criticized for acquitting security men accused of attacking protesters in an incident in which crowds were charged by men riding camels.
Many Egyptians were angered when the 84-year-old Mubarak, who had been seriously ill last year, appeared in good health, smiling and waving to the public in court last Saturday, prompting calls for him to be put back in jail.
The prosecutor general’s office said it had decided Mubarak would be returned to Torah prison on the outskirts of Cairo. It did not say when he would be moved.
Mubarak, 84, who ruled Egypt for almost 30 years before being toppled by the 18-day popular uprising in 2011, was convicted last June along with former Interior Minister Habib el-Adli of failing to prevent the killings of more than 800 demonstrators, rather than actually ordering them.
Mubarak and Adli were sentenced to life imprisonment but the country’s highest appeals court ordered a retrial in January after accepting appeals from both the defense and prosecution.
This time, the presiding judge will be Mahmoud Kamel El-Rashidi, a low-profile jurist.
The same court will retry Mubarak’s two sons, Alaa and Gamal on separate charges of financial corruption at the same time, state news agency MENA reported. Six other top Mubarak aides will also be retried with the former ruler, MENA said.
On Monday, a judge ordered Mubarak’s release on bail on the charges of complicity in the killing of protesters but he has remained in custody in a military hospital on separate charges of alleged corruption.
The convoluted legal process has highlighted the difficulty of transitional justice in a country where many of the judges and security chiefs were appointed during the Mubarak era.
Reporting by Maggie Fick; Editing by Paul Taylor and Andrew Roche