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Mubarak 'should face death penalty'


Anti-Mubarak protesters demonstrate outside the court in Egypt (AP)

Anti-Mubarak protesters demonstrate outside the court in Egypt (AP)

Anti-Mubarak protesters demonstrate outside the court in Egypt (AP)

The prosecutor in the trial of Hosni Mubarak has demanded the death penalty for the ousted Egyptian leader on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during last year's uprising against his rule.

Mustafa Khater, one of a five-member prosecution team, also asked the judge for the death sentence for Mubarak's security chief and six top police commanders being tried in the same case.

"Retribution is the solution. Any fair judge must issue a death sentence for these defendants," said Mr Khater on the third and final day of the prosecution's opening statement in Cairo.

Mubarak's two sons, one-time heir apparent Gamal and Alaa, face corruption charges in the same trial with their father and a close family friend who is a fugitive.

An 18-day uprising forced Mubarak, 83, to step down on February 11 after a nearly 30-year rule. The military, led by a general who served as defence minister under Mubarak for 20 years, replaced him in power.

Earlier in Thursday's hearing, chief prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman said Mubarak was "politically and legally" responsible for the killing of the protesters and charged that the former president did nothing to stop the killings that he was aware of from meetings with aides, regional TV channels and reports by his security agencies.

He said Mubarak's security chief and co-defendant, former interior minister Habib el-Adly, authorised the use of live ammunition on orders from Mubarak.

"He (Mubarak) can never, as the top official, claim that he did not know what was going on," Nr Suleiman told the court. "He is responsible for what happened and must bear the legal and political responsibility for what happened. It is irrational and illogical to assume that he did not know that protesters were being targeted."

Addressing Mubarak directly, Mr Suleiman said, "If you had not issued these orders yourself, then where was your outburst of rage over the lives of your people?"

Testimonies by two interior ministers who succeeded el-Adly, he said, pointed out that the defendant could not have given the order to use live ammunition against the protesters without Mubarak's personal approval, said Mr Suleiman.