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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Egypt prosecutor seeks death penalty for Mubarak in closing remarks
Andrea Bottorff at 11:13 AM ET

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[JURIST] The chief prosecutor in the case against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] in his closing remarks on Monday again asked the presiding judge, Ahmed Refaat, to give the death penalty [JURIST report] to Mubarak, former interior minister Habib El Adly and four of his aides accused of ordering the killing of anti-government protesters [JURIST news archive] last year. Mustapha Suleiman, the head of the five-person prosecution team, said that Mubarak was responsible for the killings [CNN report] because he was president at the time and failed to use his power to protect the Egyptian people. The prosecution began presenting its case [JURIST report] against Mubarak last month. Mubarak faces charges of complicity by ordering the killings of at least 840 protesters [JURIST report] early last year during the Egyptian revolution [JURIST news archive] that led to Mubarak stepping down from office [JURIST report]. The defense is scheduled to give closing remarks on Wednesday, after which Refaat will set the date [JURIST report] to announce his verdict.

Mubarak's trial started [JURIST report] in August 2011 and has been making slow progress. The trial resumed in December in the Egyptian court after a two-month adjournment [JURIST reports] allowing the court time to rule on a motion made by lawyers representing the victims' families to have the three-judge panel in the case removed. The victims' families argued that they were not given enough time to question the Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi [GlobalSecurity profile], head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) [NYT backgrounder], who testified against Mubarak [JURIST report] in a closed session in September 2011, but left early and refused to be cross-examined by counsel of the victims. In December 2011 the court also rejected the prosecution's motion [JURIST report] for a new judge and fined the prosecution for making the request. The motion was based on the allegation that Refaat was showing bias in favor of Mubarak [AFP report].

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