Lawyer says Egypt's Mubarak in coma, TV denies

CAIRO Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:25am IST

A supporter of former president Hosni Mubarak kisses a poster of Mubarak in downtown Cairo in this April 17, 2011 file photo. Mubarak, who was ousted in February and who has been detained in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, has fallen into a coma, his lawyer said on Sunday. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih/Files

A supporter of former president Hosni Mubarak kisses a poster of Mubarak in downtown Cairo in this April 17, 2011 file photo. Mubarak, who was ousted in February and who has been detained in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, has fallen into a coma, his lawyer said on Sunday.

Credit: Reuters/Asmaa Waguih/Files

Related Topics

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian former President Hosni Mubarak, hospitalised since April and due to stand trial in August, is in a coma, his lawyer said on Sunday, although state television said the hospital director had denied the report.

Another medical source told Reuters that Mubarak, 83, occasionally slipped into a coma but said his condition was stable. His health has been subject to frequent speculation in the Egyptian media, gaining momentum in the run-up to his Aug. 3 trial.

Protesters have been camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square since July 8 and have protested in other Egyptian cities. Their demands have included calls for the military council ruling Egypt to speed up Mubarak's trial.

The former president faces charges of abuse of power and killing protesters. More than 840 were killed in the 18 days of demonstrations that led to his ouster on Feb. 11.

"I was informed about the sudden deterioration in Mubarak's health and I am now on my way to Sharm el-Sheikh. All that I know so far is that the president is in a full coma," Mubarak's lawyer Farid el-Deeb told Reuters. He did not give more details.

Deeb said in June that Mubarak was suffering from cancer, although a government minister later appeared to play down that report.

Some Egyptians have questioned Mubarak's illness, seeing it as a ploy for the army to avoid putting on trial the decorated former air force commander who ruled Egypt for 30 years.

"The news that comes every now and then about him being in a bad condition is designed to gain people's sympathy, especially now with the public demanding that he go to a jail in Cairo and face trial in Cairo, not in his hospital," political analyst and activist Hassan Nafaa said.

Mubarak had generally enjoyed good health in office. He underwent gallbladder surgery in Germany in March 2010 but he had appeared to make a full recovery. When in office, officials routinely dismissed talk of ill health including cancer reports.

(Writing by Edmund Blair, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Boat Tragedy

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Pro-Russia separatists take armoured vehicles, humiliating Kiev forces.  Full Article 

Official Count

Official Count

Washington state mudslide death toll rises to 39.  Full Article 

Not Funny

Not Funny

North Korean embassy complains to UK after salon mocks leader's hair.  Full Article 

Monitoring Community

Monitoring Community

New York City police disbands unit that watched Muslim communities .  Full Article 

Nuclear Assurance

Nuclear Assurance

Modi says committed to no first use of nuclear weapons.  Full Article 

Sanctions On Iran

Sanctions On Iran

Rouhani says Iran sanctions will unravel in months.  Full Article 

Holy Week

Holy Week

The Christian faithful celebrate Holy Week, the week which leads into Easter Sunday.  Slideshow 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage