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Hosni Mubarak flown to court for retrial

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was flown by helicopter to a courthouse on the outskirts of Cairo on Saturday for the start of his retrial over the killing of demonstrators in the 2011 uprising that overthrew him. State television showed the 84-year-old being wheeled into the building lying on a hospital trolley wearing a white tracksuit. His arms were folded behind his head to prop him up. Mubarak, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli and four top aides are being retried for complicity in the murder of more than 800 protesters after the highest appeals court accepted appeals by both the defence and the prosecution in January. Two other senior interior ministry officials face lesser charges. Mubarak's two sons, Alaa and Gamal, were also in court to be retried on separate charges of financial corruption. It was the first time Mubarak had been seen in public since he and Adli were convicted last June on grounds of failing to stop the killing, rather than actually ordering it. Prosecutors accuse Mubarak of giving orders to Adli to open fire with with live ammunition against protesters to suppress demonstrations across Egypt, state news agency MENA said.
Mubarak and his interior minister were sentenced to life imprisonment at their first trial but the appeals court upheld complaints including weak evidence offered by the prosecution.
In a historic moment, Mubarak became the first ruler toppled by the Arab Spring uprisings to stand trial in person. His trial irked Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to which the former air force commander had been a loyal ally for decades.
The case exposed the difficulties of attaining justice in a country where the judiciary and security forces are still largely controlled by figures appointed during the Mubarak era.
The six senior Interior Ministry officials were acquitted. The prosecution complained that the ministry had failed to cooperate in providing evidence.
State television was broadcasting the trial live.

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