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Mubarak could face death penalty for protester killings

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] could face the death penalty if convicted of ordering attacks on protesters during the demonstrations in Egypt [JURIST news archive] early this year. Egypt's Justice Minister Mohammed al-Gindi told [AP report] al-Ahram weekly [official website] that Mubarak would face either the death penalty or life imprisonment if convicted. Mubarak is also facing charges [Ahram report] of corruption and embezzlement of public funds. Zakaria Shalash, head judge of the Cairo Court of Appeals, said this month that Mubarak may face execution [Ahram report] and that testimony of former Egyptian interior minister Habib el-Adly, on trial [BBC report] for killing protesters, could help prove Mubarak was an accomplice to the killings. However, if the prosecution cannot prove that the ordered killings were premeditated, a life sentence will likely be imposed. Mubarak is currently being detained at Sharm el-Sheikh International Hospital after he was hospitalized for heart trouble shortly after his resignation [JURIST report]. Earlier this week, public prosecutor Abdel-Maguid Mahmoud ordered [JURIST report] the transfer of Mubarak to a prison hospital in Cairo, but he was deemed unfit for travel [Xinhua report].

Last month, a commission of Arab and Egyptian human rights groups accused the former president [JURIST report] and the country's police of murdering protesters during the demonstrations in Egypt early this year. The joint commission submitted their report to Egypt's top prosecutor for further investigation. The Supreme Military Council of Egypt, which assumed power after Mubarak's resignation, instructed Egypt's top prosecutor to investigate the death of protesters [RIA Novosti report] during the three weeks of demonstrations in the country. Following the demonstrations, Egypt's chief prosecutor requested in February that Foreign Ministry officials take steps to freeze any foreign assets [JURIST report] belonging to Mubarak and his family.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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