No hospital transfer for Mubarak

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CAIRO: Ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak cannot be transferred to a military hospital as expected given his poor state of health, the attorney general said on Tuesday, citing the interior ministry.

Mubarak is under hospital arrest in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh and had been due to be transferred to a military hospital following a medical examination.

But the prosecution said it had been told by Interior Minister Mansour El-Essawy that Mubarak’s health status "indicated the need for continuous monitoring which is only available in hospitals with highly skilled personnel and equipment… which does not currently allow his transfer."

In a letter to the prosecutor general released late Tuesday, El-Essawi said moving Mubarak would threaten his health and safety.

Mubarak, who was forced to resign on February 11 after 18 days of street protests, suffered from a problem that could cause his heart to stop suddenly, it cited the minister as saying.

The 82-year-old has been at an international hospital in Sharm El-Sheikh since April 12.

Prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud’s office had said on Sunday that a medical team he sent to the hospital determined Mubarak was "in stable condition with medical treatment."

Mahmoud "tasked the interior minister to expedite preparations in the hospital" of Tora prison, where Mubarak’s two sons and a growing number of former regime officials have been detained, it said in a statement.

The hospital would need intensive care facilities to deal with any sudden deterioration of Mubarak’s heart condition, it said, adding the preparations could take one month.

Mubarak is being held in connection with violence against protesters during anti-regime rallies that ended his 30-year grip on power. He is also being questioned on corruption charges.

His detention has been extended by 15 days, until mid-May, as part of the investigation into the bloody crackdown.

The detention of his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, was also extended by 15 days, the attorney general said in a statement.

Both were interviewed on Tuesday on charges that they forced businessmen to include them as partners in deals with foreign companies, as well as over the controversial sale of Egyptian gas to Israel, the statement said.


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