Former minister denies blame for deaths of Egyptian protesters

Egypt's feared former interior minister yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges of causing the death of unarmed protesters earlier this year, becoming the most senior official of the toppled Mubarak regime to stand trial for alleged crimes during the country's uprising.

The court adjourned the trial of Habib el-Adly until 21 May, delaying the verdict in what is seen as a test of the new military regime's willingness to try to convict allies of former president Hosni Mubarak, whose 30-year rule crumbled in the face of massive protests in February.

Up to 850 Egyptians died as security forces unleashed tear gas, rubber bullets and baton charges in a bid to stamp out the massive demonstrations.

Mr el-Adly was seen as the power behind the police force, renowned for its brutality, corruption and abuse of power. Six other senior officers are facing similar charges of ordering the killing of unarmed protesters, and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Mr Mubarak, who has suffered heart problems, has also been detained pending an investigation into abuse of power and links to the deaths of protesters. He is at a clinic in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he fled after his ousting, but Egypt's public prosecutor has ordered his transfer to a prison hospital in Cairo after doctors declared that he was fit to travel. His two sons, Gamal and Alaa, have also been detained over allegations of corruption.

Friends and relatives of dead protesters gathered outside the courtroom in Cairo yesterday, demanding that Mr el-Adly and his fellow accused be hanged if found guilty.

"If the defendants are not executed for the present accusations, they will be executed for using explosives against the protesters," Othman el-Hifnawy, a lawyer for one of the committees that charged Mr el-Adly, told Reuters.

Court officials said Mr el-Adly's trial was postponed to allow defence lawyers more time to prepare. Judge Adel Goma'a also said he wished to relocate to a bigger courtroom to allow the hundreds of relatives of the dead protesters room to watch the proceedings.

Pro-democracy activists have accused the ruling generals of not doing enough to end the endemic corruption and abuse.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Newly Qualified Teachers

£90 - £115 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently looking fo...

Year 3/4 Teacher

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Job Share Year 3/4 Teacher...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments