Hosni Mubarak’s move from prison to a military hospital, where he is said to be slipping in and out of a coma, has created more uncertainty in Egypt.
Supporters of the ousted leader gathered in Cairo outside the well-equipped medical facility.
It is suggested he has suffered strokes and been put on life support. However the state news agency reports that the 84-year-old was “clinically dead” were followed by swift denials from military sources.
Mubarak’s health has prompted speculation since he was jailed for life this month for his role in the deaths of protesters who helped overthrow him.
Many opponents suspect a ruse by Mubarak’s allies in the army aimed at securing him favourable treatment or even obtaining care abroad.