CAIRO: Egypt’s ousted President Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled in February and who has been detained in a hospital in Sharm El-Sheikh, has fallen into a coma, his lawyer said on Sunday, although State TV said that the hospital director has denied the report.
“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 had told Reuters. He did not give more details.
On Saturday officials had said that Mubarak’s murder trial will most likely be held in the Red Sea resort, which is bound to anger activists demanding his transfer to Cairo.
The 83-year-old former strongman has been detained in a Sharm El-Sheikh hospital since April, and he is due to go on trial on August 3 on charges of murdering anti-regime protesters and of corruption.
A judicial source said the location was decided after security services said it would be impossible to try him in Cairo.
Mubarak could either be put in the dock or questioned by court officials in his hospital room, where he receives treatment for a heart condition, with the rest of the trial proceedings taking place in a court room, the official said.
An interior ministry official told AFP the trial location “has not been completely settled, but Mubarak will most likely be tried in Sharm El-Sheikh.”
It was not immediately clear whether his two sons, who face similar charges and are to be tried with him, would be transferred to a Sharm El-Sheikh prison from Cairo if the hearings take place there.
Protesters who have staged a sit-in for more than a week around the country and in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the demonstrations that overthrew Mubarak, demand his transfer to Cairo and accuse the ruling military of delaying the trials of former regime officials. –Agencies