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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mubarak denies ordering Egyptian protesters shot, lawyer says

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power in February.Cairo, Egypt  Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is "very sad and sorry" that he is accused of ordering that live ammunition be fired on protesters, but he has no regrets, his lawyer told CNN Sunday.
The former leader is in "very bad health," suffering from a serious heart problem and a resurgence of colon cancer, attorney Farid El Deeb said.
"He doesn't watch TV or anything else," El Deeb said in his first interview since the Mubarak family hired him in April. "They ban him from doing so to avoid more psychological pain. He speaks very little and suppresses a lot of his pain."
El Deeb suggested that his CNN interview will "probably be the only piece of television he'll watch."
Mubarak faces criminal charges, including using his political position to acquire funds illegally and potentially capital charges of killing protesters.
"He was very sad and sorry because he did not imagine such accusations, especially as he believes that they are all false," El Deeb said.
His lawyer denied that Mubarak gave any kind of authorization to use force or live ammunition against demonstrators who were calling for his removal.
"Mubarak had expressed his sorrow and had ordered a committee to investigate how they happened," he said.
More than 800 people lost their lives during Egypt's 18-day revolution, including about 50 police.
"We still need to discover who shot the policemen who were killed during the revolution," El Deeb said.
A Cairo court, in the first ruling against Mubarak since he was ousted on February 11, fined him and his top officials more than $90 million for their role in cutting the mobile phone network and internet service for five days.
Adel Saeed, spokesman for the general prosecutor, said Saturday that Mubarak himself was fined $34 million, former Interior Minister Habib El-Adly $50 million and former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif $6 million.
"They were charged with cutting the communication to hinder the efforts of the January 25 revolutionaries," Saeed said. The blocks began January 28 as demonstrations against Mubarak's rule heightened in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
El Deeb denied that Mubarak, his family and friends amassed fortunes at the expense of the Egyptian people.
Mubarak's personal wealth is only about six million Egyptian pounds -- about $1 million in U.S. dollars -- "which he saved from working for 62 years," he said.
"He does not own anything else in Egypt or outside of Egypt," he said. "He does not own a single dollar abroad."
Egypt's justice minister told CNN in May that Mubarak's fortune was "in the billions of dollars."
"Unfortunately, all the chaos and problems on the Egyptian streets are caused by the minister of justice, Mr. Mohamed Abdel-Aziz El Guindy," El Deeb said. "It has been proven that all his talk is lies."
The lawyer laughed at rumors that Mubarak's two sons are getting VIP treatment in Cairo's Tora prison, where they are awaiting trial on a variety of corruption charges. "All this is not true," he said. "They're being treated like any other prisoner."
The sons have no contact with their father, he said. Transferring Mubarak to Tora is not an option because the prison hospital does not have a proper intensive care unit, he said.
"Honestly, he is now in very bad health," he said. "He even needs help to go to the bathroom. The president has serious heart problems and complications with his stomach from the operation he had in Germany last year."

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