Death penalty sought for Mubarak

London, Jan 6: Accusing Hosni Mubarak of ordering the killing of anti-regime demonstrators, a prosecutor in the former Egyptian president’s trial has demanded death sentence for the leader who was toppled in a popular uprising last February.

‘The law foresees the death penalty for premeditated murder,’ the Daily Telegraph quoted Egyptian prosecutor Mustafa Khater telling the court.

Chief prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman, in wrapping up the three-day case, said for his part ‘the president of the republic is responsible for protecting the people, and the question is not simply one of whether he ordered the killing of protesters, but to know why he did not intervene to stop the violence.’

‘How could the president of the republic not be aware of the demonstrations that broke out on January 25 in 12 places in several governorates,’ Suleiman added, rejecting claims that Mubarak was not informed of the seriousness of the situation.

The then interior minister Habib el-Adli, who is also on trial, could ‘not have given the order to fire on demonstrators without having been instructed to do so by Mubarak’, he argued.

The military council, in power since Mubarak was ousted in February 2011, has drawn growing criticism from the US and human rights groups over its crackdown on critics in the aftermath of the uprising.