Egyptians have welcomed the news that ousted President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons are to be tried over the killing of anti-government protesters.
But legal experts are warning that tough challenges lie ahead and that public pressure must be kept up.
Mubarak’s sons, who also face fraud charges, are in jail. There have been fears that Mubarak himself, in detention in hospital on the Red Sea, may be protected.
“Mubarak is now at a hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh, I don’t know what’s happened in the last two days but his health condition is being considered now,” said Egypt’s foreign minister Nabil al-Araby, who is also the new head of the Arab League. “The general intention is that we are a country that applies the law, that is ruled by law and law will be upheld.”
The charges follow renewed protests last week calling for Mubarak and his family to go on trial.
The 83-year-old former leader could face the death penalty if convicted. He and his wife have both been questioned over alleged profiteering.
Official figures say nearly 850 people were killed and thousands injured during January’s uprising.
A date for the trial could be set in the next few days.