Middle East

Egypt's ousted president turns 84 in detention

CAIRO: Egypt's ousted leader Hosni Mubarak turned 84 on Friday and celebrated his birthday at a Cairo hospital where he is detained, according to a security official and Egyptian daily papers.

The country's former first lady, Suzanne Mubarak, visited him with relatives and grandchildren, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media

This was the second birthday for the former Egyptian president while in detention. Mubarak is on trial on charges of complicity in the killing of hundreds of protesters during the 18-day popular uprising that ousted him from power in February 2011. More than 800 people were killed during the revolution, many of them demonstrators shot dead by security forces.

The verdict and sentencing for Mubarak, who has pleaded not guilty, are due on June 2. A guilty verdict could put the man who spent nearly 30 years as one of the Arab world's key strongmen on death row. A ruling of not guilty - a distinct possibility - could set off yet another round of unrest.

Mubarak's birthday came as protesters and soldiers clashed on Cairo streets in the latest turmoil ahead of presidential elections, which start May 23.

The violence has thrown the vote into turmoil, with several candidates suspending their campaigns in protest against the military's handling of the situation. Egypt's military rulers who took over when Mubarak stepped down have promised to hand over power to a civilian administration by July 1 but that has not assuaged protesters concerned the generals could find an excuse to stay on.

Al-Masry Al-Youm paper says Mubarak received flowers from supporters.





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