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Scuffles Interrupt Mubarak Trial


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

SIEGEL: But as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo, today's session proved more chaotic than the previous two.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON: Egyptian state television showed a frail Mubarak being wheeled in a hospital bed into the police compound here, where the trial is being held.


SARHADDI NELSON: One family member was Iman Sayed Ali, whose son and only child was killed on January 28th.

IMAN SAYED ALI: (Foreign language spoken)

SARHADDI NELSON: She says her son will have died for nothing if Mubarak isn't convicted. She was hoping today's testimony would help bring him to justice. But the hearing provided Egyptians with more drama than substance.


SARHADDI NELSON: Khaled Fahmy is the chair of the American University in Cairo's History Department, and is closely following the trial.

KHALED FAHMY: We know that the protocol says that it's only the president who can issue these orders. Some people say it is not the president but the minister. And now, they're pushing it further down by basically saying it is the deputy minister who is the head of the security forces, who actually issued the order without the minister knowing. So that's basically the question: Where does the buck stop?

SARHADDI NELSON: The testimony was frustrating to protesters who were attacked, like Sarah Abdel-Rahman.

SARAH ABDEL: It's basically the biggest case in Egypt's history and, you know, everyone is very careful about what they're saying.

SARHADDI NELSON: She says Egyptians need Mubarak to be held accountable.

ABDEL: Even if he didn't know that Ahmed Ramzy ordered people to have live ammunition, then this in itself is a problem.

SARHADDI NELSON: Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR News, Cairo. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Special correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is based in Berlin. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and read at NPR.org. From 2012 until 2018 Nelson was NPR's bureau chief in Berlin. She won the ICFJ 2017 Excellence in International Reporting Award for her work in Central and Eastern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.