By Jake Lippincott
The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, his sons and many of his aides and ministers was underway on Monday. Mubarak and much of his entourage are facing charges that include inciting the killing of protesters during the 25 January Revolution, creating chaos and exporting underpriced fuel to Israel.
The court heard the testimony on Monday from the defence team of former assistant to the interior minister Major General Hassan Abdel-Rahman Youssef.
As the often-delayed trial has dragged on over the months the defendants have attempted to downplay the violence against protesters under Mubarak, distance themselves from the violence and generally discredit the protest movement.
Last week the defence team of Major General Ahmed Ramzi, former head of the Central Security Forces, said that Ramzi urged that security forces use restraint, and only employed tear gas and batons to disperse crowds.
The defence team said that if firearms were used against protesters, the number of casualties would have been “hundreds of times higher”.
On Monday the defence team representing Youssef, said that the protests were orchestrated from abroad by “traitors and murderers” who manipulated the young activists who led the Tahrir movement.
Along with these charges, in February, the prosecution announced that Mubarak would also stand trial with his two sons and face charges of embezzlement. The prosecution alleged that Mubarak and his sons embezzled EGP 125m ($18m) earmarked for presidential palaces.