The ousted leader Hosni Mubarak has been accused of tyranny and corruption, in the harshest assessment of his rule heard in an Egyptian courtroom.
Mustafa Suleiman, the chief prosecutor, also accused Mr Mubarak – who is on trial alongside his two sons and eight others – of devoting the last 10 years of his three decades in power to ensuring his son would succeed him.
"He deserves to end in humiliation and indignity: from the presidential palace to the defendants' cage and then the harshest penalty," Mr Suleiman said, on the first of three days in which the prosecution will state its case against the defendants. "Here we have a President who devoted the last decade of his rule to engineer something that no one in Egypt ever dared to do before – the succession of his son," he added in a reference to the former President's one-time presumed heir, Gamal Mubarak.
The speech seemed aimed at energising the trial after five months of sessions that were often bogged down by delays, muddled testimonies and procedural issues.