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Mubarak critical, feared dead

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CAIRO — Sources in Egypt yesterday said the ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was being tried in Cairo for allegedly ordering the killing of civilians and corruption, might have died in custody, television channel Russia Today (RT)’s Paula Slier reported yesterday.

If true, Mubarak would be the second head of state to become a victim of the so-called Arab Spring and not be fully tried for the crimes the opposition charged him with. Earlier, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi died under suspicious circumstances after being captured by rebel forces on Thursday.

Egyptian media say Mubarak, whose health had deteriorated to the point where he had to be lying in bed during his trial, was informed about Gaddafi’s death, which worsened his condition. The former Egyptian leader suffered a heart attack after seeing his long-time friend’s body bloodied and still.

Whether the attack was fatal or not was unclear. However, the Egyptian army had ramped up security in the hospital where Mubarak was being kept under arrest. Extra guards had surrounded the building as well as entered the floor on which the ailing ex-president was being treated, said Slier.

Mubarak has been charged with various crimes, including ordering to shoot at protesters who took to the streets of Egypt in February and eventually overthrew the government. The uprising ended the four-decade rule of the regime. So far, a number of Mubarak’s former subordinates have testified before the court, but none confirmed the accusations.

Another famous similar case in recent history is that of Slobodan Milosevic. The president of Serbia and Yugoslavia was in custody of the Hague Tribunal for alleged crimes committed during the 1990s Balkan wars. The trial was never finished as the defendant died in custody in 2006 of a heart attack.— RT

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