The trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] was suspended Monday until next month amid bias claims. Lawyers for the families of the anti-Mubarak protesters who were killed argued to the Cairo Appeals Court [Al Jazeera backgrounder] that Judge Ahmed Refaat was overseeing the case in an arbitrary manner [UPI Report]. Refaat suspended the trial until October 30, but if a new judge is put on the trial, it would start over. Mubarak is on trial for murder, attempted killing of protesters and other charges related to general abuse of power [Al Jazeera report] stemming from his response to pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt [JURIST news archive] earlier this year. Mubarak's sons, Gamal and Alaa, are also on trial for corruption charges.
Mubarak's trial began on August 3 [JURIST report] with Mubarak and his sons pleading not guilty to all charges. Rifaat decided last month to end live TV broadcasts [JURIST report] of subsequent proceedings amid protests from the families of victims and praise from several courtroom lawyers who opposed the broadcasts. 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. In July, 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, so it would coincide with Mubarak's trial. 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 [advocacy website] reported that at least 840 people were killed [JURIST report] and more than 6,000 injured during the Egyptian protests.