Egypt May Not Allow Kuwait Team to Help Mubarak

A team of Kuwaiti attorneys has volunteered to help defend Hosni Mubarak in court Monday but may not be allowed.

Chana Ya'ar,

Deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is scheduled to resume Monday, with a large team of attorneys from Kuwait.

But Egyptian Justice Minister Mohamed al-Guindi denied Saturday the team of Kuwaiti lawyers would help defend the former president when he returns to the Cairo courtroom. 

Mubarak, who is reportedly suffering from cancer, is facing charges of corruption and murdering pro-democracy protesters during the Tahrir Square Revolution that ended his 31-year regime in early February.

The Egyptian state news agency MENA reported Friday that the former president would be defended by a team of 10 Kuwaiti attorneys who had volunteered to assist.

Guindi told the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, however, that Egypt has received no official requests from Kuwaiti lawyers to join Mubarak's defense team. He also said that only the court is authorized to grant entry to the trial.

According to Judge Abdel Aziz Omar, head of the Appeals Court of Cairo, each of the Kuwaiti lawyers would have to obtain a license from the Egyptian Justice Ministry. That would enable them to join the defense team, even though none are registered at the Egyptian Lawyers' Syndicate. However, the newspaper added, they must obtain that license by Sunday, since the trial resumes on Monday.

In addition, Omar added, that the only person who can grant entry to the Mubarak trial is Judge Ahmed Refa'at, the presiding judge.

Faisal al-Otaiby, a spokesperson for the Kuwaiti delegation told reporters they volunteered to defend the former Egyptian president in gratitude for his assistance to their country 20 years ago when it was invaded by Iraq.