Mubarak stands trial

Laura Rozen

In an astonishing reversal of fortune, Egyptians watched ousted former dictator Hosni Mubarak wheeled on a gurney into a cage to face trial, along with his two sons, in a Cairo courtroom today.

Mubarak, who was forced from office last February after 31 years in power, denied guilt on charges of ordering attacks that killed anti-government protesters last year.

"I deny all these charges and accusations categorically," Mubarak said, the Washington Post's Leila Fadel and Ernesto Londono reported from the court room.

His attorney, Fardid el-Dib, "offered the first glimpse of the defense strategy Wednesday," Fadel and Londono write, "saying that Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the head of Egypt's military council, took charge of security operations Jan. 28. That was the day Egyptian authorities deployed the army to the streets of Cairo in an effort to control swelling street protests that had overwhelmed riot police squads."

The strategy is notable since Tantawi remains the head of the Egyptian military council--the body that has been governing Egypt in the interim before new elections called for the fall.

Mubarak, 83, has been hospitalized in Sharm el-Sheikh. He will be remanded  to a military hospital until his trial resumes, judge Ahmed Refaat said. Egypt's health minister recently determined that Mubarak is healthy enough to stand trial. His lawyers had argued that he was too ill to withstand the court proceedings.