Mubarak faces justice from his bed
Former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak has been dragged into public court in his hospital bed to face charges of being behind the deaths of hundreds of protesters who helped cause his downfall.
As a stunned nation watched on live TV, the ailing, 83-year-old, lying ashen-faced inside a metal defendants' cage with his two sons standing beside him in white prison uniforms, claimed he was not guilty.
Many Egyptians savoured the images of the man who ruled with unquestionable power for 29 years, during which opponents were tortured, corruption was rife, poverty spread and political life was stifled.
After widespread scepticism that Egypt's military rulers would allow one of their own - a former head of the air force - to be prosecuted in front of the world, the scene went a long way to satisfy one of the key demands that has united protesters since February 11, when Mubarak fell following an 18-day uprising.
It was the first time Egyptians have seen him since February 10, when he gave a defiant TV address refusing to resign.
A prosecutor read the charges against Mubarak - that he was an accomplice along with his then-interior minister in the "intentional and premeditated murder of peaceful protesters" and that he and his sons received gifts from a prominent businessman in return for guaranteeing him a lowered price in a land deal with the state.
"Yes, I am here," Mubarak said from his bed, raising his hand slightly when the judge asked him to identify himself and enter a plea. "I deny all these accusations completely," he said into a microphone, wagging his finger. His sons also pleaded not guilty.
The court session was largely taken up by procedural measures as lawyers from both sides filed motions.
Mubarak was flown in just before the session from Sharm el-Sheikh, the Red Sea resort where he has been under arrest at a hospital since April.
After several hours, the judge adjourned Mubarak and his sons' trial until August 15 and ordered he be held at the International Medical Centre, a military hospital on the outskirts of Cairo, and that an oncologist be among the doctors monitoring him. That was one of the strongest indications yet that Mubarak has cancer after months of unconfirmed reports.