CAIRO: Egypt’s state prosecutor has renewed the detention of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak for another 15 days amid a probe into a deadly crackdown on protesters and corruption, MENA news agency said Friday.
Mubarak, who was forced to resign in February after mass protests, was first remanded into preventive custody for 15 days on April 13 on suspicion of involvement in a deadly crackdown on protesters and corruption.
"The state prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud decided to renew the detention of ex-president Hosni Mubarak for 15 days for questioning.. effective when his last detention period expires," the agency reported.
Mubarak is being detained in a hospital in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, where he has lived since his ouster.
The report said that prosecutors went to the resort on Friday to further interrogate Mubarak.
Judicial sources told AFP that they had questioned Mubarak about his possible role in the killings of protesters and also on details of a controversial deal to supply natural gas to Israel at a low price.
His former oil minister Sameh Fahmi was remanded into custody on Thursday for his alleged role in selling the gas at less than market prices.
There have been conflicting reports on Mubarak’s state of health and the reason he was hospitalized, but the state news agency on Thursday reported that the 82-year-old former strongman’s condition was "unstable."
Friday’s edition of the official Al-Ahram newspaper quoted medical sources as saying doctors were conducting tests to determine why his health is unstable.
The state prosecutor’s office had earlier said that he ordered a medical team to head to the hospital to verify whether Mubarak was healthy enough to be transferred to a Cairo prison cell or hospital.
The team was also to evaluate medical services in the Tora prison hospital.
When Mubarak was first remanded, the prosecutor asked the interior minister to prepare for his transfer to the prison hospital but was told it was not equipped to handle an intensive care case.
The ousted president’s two sons, Alaa and Gamal, and several of his ministers and senior aides being held in the south Cairo prison complex on various charges as part of a sweeping probe into corruption and abuse.
Mubarak, who has denied any wrongdoing and pledged to die in Egypt, had become a thorn in the side of the ruling military council, despite his past as an air force commander.
His trial was a key demand of tens of thousands of protesters who staged weekly demonstrations in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square, eventually leading to a deadly clash with soldiers when they tried to clear an overnight demonstration.
An official commission set up to investigate deaths during the 18 days of protests that forced him out of power said in a summary of its report released this week that 846 civilians and 26 policemen were killed in the revolt.
It found that most of the dead were shot in the head and chest, indicating the use of snipers.
Mubarak himself was complicit in the killings, according to the secretary general of the commission, who told reporters that he must have been consulted before the use of live fire against protesters was approved.