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Witnesses Fail To Link Mubarak To Killings
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Witnesses Fail To Link Mubarak To Killings

Middle East

Witnesses Fail To Link Mubarak To Killings

Witnesses Fail To Link Mubarak To Killings
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The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak continued in Cairo Wednesday. Witnesses for the prosecution failed to connect Mubarak or his interior minister to the fatal shootings during protests that led to Mubarak's ouster.

ROBERT SIEGEL: To Cairo now and the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak. The court heard testimony today that many in Egypt believe further weakened the prosecution's case.

As NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports, witness after witness failed to connect Mubarak or his interior minister to the fatal shootings of protestors earlier this year.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON: The Mubarak trial judge called Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, who heads Egypt's ruling military council, to testify Sunday. His testimony will be followed later in the week by Mubarak's vice president and former intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, as well as the interim interior minister and army chief of staff.

What prosecutors expect to hear from these high-ranking officials is unclear. But the summonses have renewed hope in lawyers representing Egyptians who want to see Mubarak and his former interior minister Habib al-Adly convicted. They say the judge's action proves that despite the flimsiness of the prosecution's case, the court is taking the charges seriously.

HODA NASRALLAH: (Foreign language spoken)

NELSON: Hoda Nasrallah is a civil rights lawyer monitoring the trial. She's with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. She says the summonses make up for the fact the judge dropped perjury charges against a lower-ranking security official who testified earlier today.

That officer, a police captain, and others who have testified say they received no orders from on high to shoot to kill or to use live ammunition against the protestors. But the captain contradicted an earlier affidavit when he testified that he only learned that live ammunition had been used from TV reports.

NASRALLAH: (Foreign language spoken)

NELSON: Still, Hoda Nasrallah questions why the prosecution called any of the officers at all. She believes none of them made the link between Mubarak or Adly and the deaths of some 850 protestors.

Outside the court compound, the father of one 10-year-old boy who was fatally shot was also unhappy.

MOHAMED ABDEL FATTAH: (Foreign language spoken)

NELSON: Mohamed Abdel Fattah says he's starting to doubt the trial will bring him and other families the justice they seek. He says he's haunted by the image of his young son clinging to his neck as he died in his arms.

The trial continues tomorrow.

Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR News, Cairo

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