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Mubarak trial to be televised

The trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] will be televised live, the trial judge announced Monday. The trial will also be held at the national police academy in a room large enough to accommodate 600 people [UPI report]. The judge did not indicate, however, whether Mubarak would be present for the trial. Mubarak faces several charges [JURIST report], including murder, attempted killing of protesters and other charges related to general abuse of power [Al Jazeera report], as a result of his response to pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt [JURIST news archive] earlier this year. Mubarak will face trial with his two sons, six deputies and a businessman who also face corruption charges. The trial date for Mubarak and the other men is set for August 3 [MENA report; JURIST report].

Officials chose a new location for Mubarak's trial for security reasons after reporting [JURIST reports] that the trial would take place at a convention center in downtown Cairo. The announcement came amid speculation [Reuters report] that the trial would take place at a Red Sea resort because of Mubarak's alleged poor health. Many Egyptians contend that Mubarak is not ill and that members of the government have claimed the ex-president is sick in an effort to avoid a swift, public trial. Last week, an Egyptian criminal court postponed the trial [JURIST report] of former interior minister Habib el-Adly, who also faces murder charges in relation to the pro-democracy demonstrations, until August 3. Mubarak was hospitalized in April [JURIST report], just days before he was scheduled to appear before Egypt's public prosecutor for questioning about his alleged roles in protester deaths and embezzlement of government money. In March, a commission of Arab and Egyptian human rights groups accused Mubarak [JURIST report] and the police of murdering protesters during the demonstrations in Egypt. Mubarak could face the death penalty [JURIST report] if convicted of ordering attacks on protesters. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported that at least 840 people were killed [JURIST report], and more than 6,000 were injured, during the Egyptian protests.

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