Mubarak, Brotherhood trials open

AFP-JIJI

Toppled Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak appeared in court Sunday for the first time since his release to house arrest, and a separate court adjourned a hearing of top Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

The hearings come against the backdrop of political uncertainty in the wake of the July 3 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, followed by a crackdown on his Brotherhood movement.

Security sources said that the Brotherhood defendants, including spiritual leader Mohammed Badie and two deputies, were not brought to court because police feared protesters could attack the trucks transporting them to prison.

But the judge overseeing their trial for inciting the deaths of protesters adjourned the proceedings over their absence and asked the Interior Ministry to bring them to the next hearing on Oct. 29.

Mubarak meanwhile appeared in public for the first time since he left Tora prison on Thursday after a court authorized a pretrial release.

The court adjourned his trial to Sept. 14 after creating three specialized committees to sift through a mountain of evidence.

Mubarak was convicted in June last year of complicity in the deaths of protesters and was sentenced to life in prison, but a retrial was ordered in January.