CAIRO — Toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, his two sons and several others charged with plotting to kill hundreds of antigovernment demonstrators will face a very public trial in Cairo beginning Wednesday, a senior Egyptian official said Thursday.
The announcement — which came after the Egyptian health minister reported that Mubarak's health was stable enough for him to be transported to Cairo — allayed fears among many Egyptians that the 83-year-old former president would escape a trial or that it would be postponed, which probably would have fueled massive protests.
The trial will be historic in Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation, where Mubarak ruled with an iron fist for nearly three decades and a president has never before faced trial. But it also figures to echo across the region, where the "Arab Spring" protests have challenged many entrenched regimes but recently have run into sharp government crackdowns.
Facing trial with Mubarak and his sons, Alaa and Gamal, are fugitive businessman Hussein Salem, former Interior Minister Habib el Adly and six senior police officials. They all face multiple charges of stealing government funds and conspiring to kill more than 850 protesters during the revolution that overthrew Mubarak's regime.