The presiding judge in the trial for former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has ordered cameras out; lawyers brawl to file their motions.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 8/15/2011, 5:07 PM
The presiding judge in the now-resumed trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday suspended live television broadcasts from the courtroom to "preserve public interests."
“The court has decided to halt the live transmission of the trial sessions starting from September 5 until a verdict is issued,” judge Ahmad Refaat said after a 50-minute break in the high-profile trial.
Egyptian state television showed live Monday’s session and the opening session held on August 3.
Upon a request from lawyers for families of protesters killed in an anti-revolt earlier this year, Refaat ordered that the trial involving Mubarak and former interior minister Habib Al Adly be re-merged.
Mubarak and Al Adly will stand trial on September 5 on charges of ordering the killing of around 850 people during the revolt that eventually toppled Mubarak in February.
The chief judge Refaat told a packed courtroom Monday that he could not hold sessions on a daily basis as he promised earlier due to “excessive demands” from lawyers and a lack of organisation.
“Is there any court that can hear 100 lawyers? No there isn’t,” he said.
Lawyers for the families of the slain protesters were seen Monday engaged in altercations among themselves inside the courtroom over scramble to speak to the judge.
“Lawyers should organise themselves. If not, this trial will move into a vicious circle and drag on for long,” said Jamal Salama, the chairman of the political science department at a university in the coastal city of Suez.
Earlier on Monday, the presiding judge of the court, trying former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his two sons, excluded daily sessions.
"I hoped that the sessions will be held on a daily basis as I announced earlier. But due to excessive demands (from lawyers), this will be beyond the capacity of any court," Chief Judge
Ahmed Refaat said at the opening of the second session of the trial of Mubarak and his sons.
The same judge on Sunday adjourned until September 5 a trial of former interior minister Habib Al Adly and six aides due to chaos inside the courtroom.
The defendants face possible death sentences if convicted.