Mubarak faces protest deaths trial

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Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak is to stand trial on charges of conspiring in the killing of protesters during the uprising that overthrew him.

The 83-year-old leader, his two sons and a close business associate also have been charged with abusing their power to amass wealth, the prosecutor-general's office said. A trial date has not yet been set.

The referral to trial is a key demand of many Egyptians who have rallied to insist that Mubarak and his aides face justice.

Mubarak stepped down on February 11 and transferred power to the military after an 18-day popular uprising. At least 846 protesters were killed, according to a government fact-finding mission.

Mubarak has been in custody in a hospital since last month. His two sons are in detention in a Cairo prison.

But after the initial euphoria of a successful uprising, protesters have become impatient and stepped up demands that reforms and promises be carried out.

The decision comes ahead of a planned Friday protest dubbed "Egypt's second revolution," which was aimed at calling for Mubarak's trial, uprooting all remnants of his regime and lifting the hated emergency laws that remain more than three months after he was ousted.

Prosecutor-general Mahmoud Abdel-Meguid accused Mubarak of having "conspired" with the former security chief and other officers to shoot and kill the protesters who took to the streets starting on January 25.

He also charged Mubarak and his sons, Gamal and Alaa, of using their authority and power to enrich himself and a business associate Hussein Salem.