The five-member prosecution team on Tuesday began presenting its case against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive]. Mubarak is facing charges of complicity by ordering the killings of at least 840 protesters [JURIST report] during the Egyptian revolution [JURIST news archive] early last year after which Mubarak stepped down from the office [JURIST report]. Tuesday's session, which lasted 90 minutes, was the first of three sessions in which the prosecution will present its case to the court. The head of the prosecutor team, Mustapha Suleiman, delivered the opening statement [Reuters report] which did not deal with the charge against Mubarak of ordering the killings of the protesters. The session was adjourned by the presiding judge, Ahmed Refaat, until Wednesday when another member of the prosecution was to present the case. Along with Mubarak, his two sons, Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, the former interior minister and senior police officers are also facing charges of corruption and involvement in the killings of the protesters.
Mubarak's trial started in August [JURIST report] and has been making slow progress. The trial was resumed last week by the Egyptian court after a two-month adjournment [JURIST reports] which allowed 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. The victims' families argued that were not given enough time to question the Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi [GlobalSecurity profile], head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) [NYT backgrounder], who testified against Mubarak [JURIST report] in a closed session in September, but left early and refused to be cross-examined by counsel of the victims. In December the court also rejected the prosecution's motion [JURIST report] for a new judge and fined the prosecution for making such request. The motion was based on the allegation that Judge Refaat was showing bias in favor of Mubarak [AFP report].