Hosni Mubarak's health deteriorates


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The Independent Online

The health of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has deteriorated further, security officials said.

Doctors had to use a defibrillator twice and feed him liquids intravenously, they added.

Mubarak's two sons, one-time heir apparent Gamal and wealthy businessman Alaa, were by his side at the intensive care ward of Torah prison hospital south of Cairo where the 84-year-old former president is serving a life sentence.

The officials, who are at Torah, did not say whether the defibrillator was used because Mubarak's heart stopped or to remedy irregular heartbeats.

The officials said that Mubarak had slipped in and out of consciousness three times so far today. He was also reported to be slipping in and out of consciousness yesterday.

His two sons are being held at Torah prison awaiting trial on insider trading charges.

Mubarak's health has deteriorated sharply since he was convicted on June of failing to prevent the killings of hundreds of protesters during the uprising that ousted him last year.

Officials have also said he is suffering from deep depression.

He and his two sons were acquitted of corruption charges.

Mubarak's wife, Suzanne, visited him in Torah yesterday and, according to the officials, demanded that he be transferred to a better equipped hospital outside the penal system.

Such a transfer is likely unless Mubarak's health improves.

In his last public appearance at his sentencing on June 2, the bedridden Mubarak sat stoned-faced in the metal defendants' cage in the courtroom, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses.

However, officials said that he broke into tears when he learned that he was being transferred to a prison.

It took officials hours to convince Mubarak to leave the helicopter that ferried him from the courthouse to the prison.

Media reports quoted Mubarak at the time as saying the military council who took over after his ouster had deceived him.

"Egypt has sold me. They want me to die here," he reportedly said.