An Egyptian court on Wednesday resumed the trial of ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] after a month-long adjournment. The trial was adjourned [JURIST report] in October in order to allow 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. Lawyers for the victims argued that they were not given enough time [Al Jazeera report] to question Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi [GlobalSecurity profile], head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) [NYT backgrounder] currently ruling Egypt. In December, the court rejected the motion and fined the prosecution for making the request. Mubarak is facing charges of complicity in the deaths of more than 800 protesters [JURIST report] during the pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt [JURIST news archive] that resulted in Mubarak stepping down in February [JURIST report]. The trial lasted a few hours on Wednesday and is due to resume again on January 2.
The trial for ex-president Mubarak has been tumultuous. In September, violence broke out in the courtroom when plaintiffs and their lawyers clashed with Mubarak supporters. In August, presiding Judge Ahmed Rifaat decided 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. If convicted, Murabak could face the death penalty.