The detained ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was on Thursday asked to appear before a Cairo court along with his two sons on Tuesday, in signs that the military rulers were pushing ahead with investigations against him, in spite of his complaints of heart trouble.
The authorities, however, put off at the last moment the shifting of the ailing president, who is still reported to be in ICU in a hospital in Sharm al-Sheikh in view of his “unstable heart conditions”.
Mr. Mubarak and his two sons were ordered detained for 15 days by the Prosecutor General pending investigations into accusation of corruption and abuse of authority.
Military sources quoted by al Jazeera said Mr. Mubarak was being shifted from Sharm al Sheikh to Cairo. It remains unclear whether the deposed president will be sent to a hospital or to prison.
The Pan-Arab news agency said that army helicopters which had arrived in the Red Sea beach resort to shift him to Cairo, left empty as Mr. Mubarak’s health was reported to be unstable.
State television reported that Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal would appear before a Cairo court on April 19 for questioning, with the Prosecutor General’s office saying that ongoing investigations were into allegation of corruption, squandering of public money and abuse of authority for personal gain.
The state television did not divulge further details about Mubarak’s health or about the investigations. It quoted the director of the Sharm al Sheikh hospital Mohmmad Fathallah as replying that the former president’s health was “somewhat improving”.
Despite being in precarious health conditions, the toppled president appeared to have little sympathy in the capital. Though Cairo’s famous cafes were abuzz with the news of his and his two sons arrests, there were no kind words or tears shed for him, BBC reported.
The channel said that thousands had gathered outside the hospital where he was lying, shouting slogans against him and calling that he be put on trial and they clashed with handful of pro-Mubarak people.
In the iconic Tahrir Square, the protesters have widely welcomed his detention and said the trial should be taken to conclusion.
Semi official newspaper Al Ahram reported that there was “great popular joy” at the decision to detain Mr. Mubarak and his sons.
An independent daily Al-Masri Al-Yom said that during interrogations the former strongman had denied ever giving an order for protesters to be attacked.
Mr. Mubarak’s long time ally, the United States remained mum on the move to detain him with a State Department spokesman Mark Toner saying “Egypt is navigating a very difficult transition. It is trying to set in place democratic process. But its really a matter for the Egyptian government and people to address“.
Though Mubarak may have had a short reprieve, his two sons, Alaa and Gamal were thrown today into the notorious Tora prison complex in Cairo, now home to other fallen officials and some of the country’s ill famed prisoners.
Once seen as his father’s anointed heir, Gamal and his elder brother Alaa were handed white prison uniforms, blankets and matresses, after they surrendered their cell phones, al Jazeera reported quoting MENA.