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Top Mubarak aide denies massacre

One of Egypt's most feared government ministers has gone on trial accused of ordering the killing of unarmed protesters during the uprising that removed President Hosni Mubarak.

Former interior minister Habib el-Adly could face a death sentence if convicted.

His trial, along with six of his top aides, opened at a court in Cairo amid tight security.

Around 1,000 relatives and friends of the nearly 850 Egyptians killed in the protests demonstrated outside demanding el-Adly and his aides be hanged.

El-Adly was one of the most powerful men under Mubarak, controlling the estimated half million security forces.

He denies all charges and the trial was adjourned until May 21.

He is among several stalwarts of the Mubarak regime who have been detained and investigated on charges of corruption or mismanagement of public funds. Mubarak was also arrested by the country's top prosecutor this month pending an investigation into accusations of illegally amassing wealth and his role in the use of live ammunition against the protesters.

Mubarak, 82, is in hospital under guard in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Mubarak's two sons, wealthy businessman Alaa and one-time heir apparent Gamal, have also been detained on corruption charges, joining the former prime minister and the speakers of parliament's two chambers in Tora prison just south of Cairo.

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