Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak appeared in court on Wednesday to face accusations of corruption and ordering the killing of pro-democracy protesters.
The 83-year-old lay on a hospital stretcher inside the defendants’ cage as a judge read out the charge sheet. He denied all the allegations against him.
Mubarak, his sons, and other senior officials could face the death penalty.
Outside the court, scuffles broke out between supporters of the deposed leader and those who are glad to see him in the dock.
Mubarak’s appearance before judges was shown on a large screen in central Cairo.
Many Egyptians huddled inside shops and cafes; the trial was broadcast on state television. It was their first glimpse of their former president since a defiant televised speech on the eve of his resignation in February.
Many had doubted whether the country’s military council, which took power after Mubarak quit, would allow its former commander-in-chief to face justice.
Protesters have returned to the revolution’s birthplace, Tahrir Square, in recent weeks. They are unhappy with the pace of democratic change.
While activists welcome Mubarak’s trial, their biggest concern is dismantling the police state that he headed for nearly three decades.