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Mubarak rebuffs charges of ordering protesters killing
August 14, 2014, 8:35 am

In a passionate speech before the court, former Egyptian president Mohamed Hosni Mubarak defended his three-decade rule and dismissed charges of ordering the killing of peaceful protesters who forced his ouster in early 2011.

"Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, who is before you today, would never order the killing of protesters or shed the blood of Egyptians," Mubarak said in a hearing aired by Egyptian TV.

"I have spent my life fighting my nation's enemies and I would not order the murder of a single Egyptian under any circumstances or for any reason." Mubarak, his interior minister and six top security aides are being retried over their complicity in the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the 18-day uprising that toppled him in 2011.

He was found guilty in 2012 and sentenced to life in prison but the conviction was overturned on appeal due to procedural irregularities, and a retrial began in April 2013.

Mubarak said that he and his family had been subjected to a smear campaign since his ouster in the 2011 revolt.

He said he was not forced from power in the popular revolt but gave it up "voluntarily" to avert plunging Egypt into an "abyss." "I am not speaking to review my achievements but to respond to the defamation, slander and accusations," Mubarak added, saying that his speech would likely be his last before his death.

The former leader said he had "achieved the highest economic growth and foreign currency reserves in Egypt's history".
He denied the corruption allegations he is also facing along with his two sons.

The former long-serving president claimed he bolstered democracy during his later years in office.

Mubarak is now serving a three-year prison term for embezzlement of public funds at a military hospital in the southern outskirts of Cairo.
After Mubarak's speech, the judge said a final verdict in the case would be delivered on 27 September.

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