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Mubarak 'could face death penalty'

Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak could face the death penalty if he is convicted of ordering the shooting of protesters during the uprisings which brought him down, the country's justice minister said.

Mohammed el-Guindi told the daily Al-Ahram newspaper that Mr Mubarak, his two sons and wife are also facing allegations of corruption.

He added that former first lady Suzanne Mubarak will be questioned for the first time in a few days over her illicit amassing of wealth.

Mr El-Guindi blamed Mr Mubarak for the country's widespread corruption during his almost 30-year rule.

Mr Mubarak, 82, stepped down in February and was placed under arrest in the Sharm el-Sheikh hospital due to heart problems.

At least 846 protesters were killed during the uprising.

"Certainly, if convicted for the crime of killing protesters, it could result in the death sentence," said Mr el-Guindi.

He added that the key to the case was whether former interior minister Habib el-Adly, also under investigation, would testify that Mr Mubarak had given the order to open fire on the protesters.

"The only one capable of pardoning Mubarak... would be the new president," said Mr el-Guindi. "If I were the president, I will not pardon him for killing 800 martyrs."

Egypt will hold new presidential elections in November.

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