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Mubarak denies charges as trial begins in Cairo

Former Egyptian leader faces charges of corruption, killing protesters

Hosni Mubarak arrived in Cairo on Wednesday to go on trial for serious charges of corruption and killing protesters.

The ailing, 83-year-old lay on a hospital bed inside a cage of mesh and iron bars in a Cairo courtroom as his historic trial began.

The scene, shown live on Egypt’s state TV, was Egyptians' first look at their former president since Feb. 10, the day before his fall when he gave a defiant speech refusing to resign.

Associated Press reports:

Inside the cage, an ashen-looking Mr. Mubarak craned his head up to see the proceedings, a sheet drawn up to his chest. His two sons – Gamal and Alaa, who are on trial with him – stood next to his bed, leaning over to talk with him. The elder Mr. Mubarak and most of his nine co-defendants all wore white prison uniforms. His ex-interior minister was in blue prison garb.

A prosecutor detailed charges against the ousted leader, accusing him of complicity in the killing of protesters during the uprising against his rule and of corruption in accepting gifts to facilitate a land deal, the AP reports.

Mubarak denied the charges, as did his sons, Gamal and Alaa, who also were accused in the corruption charges.

Outside the court, dozens of Mubarak loyalists clashed briefly with opponents, hitting each other with stones, before being quickly separated by security forces.

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The trial is the latest in a string of legal proceedings against members of the Mubarak era, AFP reports.

Several ministers have already been sentenced to jail in corruption cases, including Habib al-Adly, already sentenced to 12 years in jail for graft.

Mubarak, who doctors say refused to leave his hospital bed, had appeared likely to be tried in Sharm el-Sheikh, but the justice ministry announced last week the trial would be held in Cairo.

His lawyer, Farid al-Deeb, will argue that Mubarak is too sick to stand trial and that he did not sanction the brutal crackdown on protesters.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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Deposed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak lies on a hospital bed in a cell inside a courtroom Wednesday in Cairo where he faces charges of corruption and killing protesters during uprisings in the country earlier this year.

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