With Egypt in chaos, Mubarak misses court session

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Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak (C) and his two sons Alaa (R) and Gamal (L) are seen behind the defendants' cage during their retrial at the Police Academy in Cairo on June 8, 2013. (AFP/Getty Images)

Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak (C) and his two sons Alaa (R) and Gamal (L) are seen behind the defendants' cage during their retrial at the Police Academy in Cairo on June 8, 2013. (AFP/Getty Images)

The retrial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on charges of conspiracy to kill protesters convened on Saturday in the absence of the deposed autocrat, who was missing for security reasons after political violence swept the country.

Mubarak's two sons, Alaa and Gamal, who are standing trial on corruption charges, were also absent, as was Mubarak's former interior minister, Habib el-Adly. A security official said all were absent for security reasons.

It was the first time Mubarak, 85, had missed a session in the retrial, which got underway in May. The judge adjourned proceedings until Aug. 25.

Violence erupted across Egypt on Friday during protests by Islamist opponents of the army-backed government that took power from President Mohamed Mursi, who became the second head of state to fall in two years when the military removed him on July 3.

Mubarak is being held at Tora Prison on the southern outskirts of Cairo - the same facility where senior members of Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood have been held since they were arrested in a crackdown on the organisation.

Mubarak and Adly were convicted and sentenced to life in prison last June for failing to stop killing during the 2011 uprising that swept him from power. But a court ordered the retrial in January after accepting appeals from both the prosecution and the defence.

Each cited different shortcomings with a trial that was criticised for the weak evidence offered by the prosecution.

Mursi is also being detained, but at an undisclosed location. He faces a formal investigation into accusations stemming from his escape from prison during the uprising against Mubarak. The accusations against him include conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas and murder. (Writing by Tom Perry; editing by David Stamp)

 

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