CAIRO — Egypt's deposed President Hosni Mubarak may be transferred to a private military hospital because of a marked decline in his health after being sentenced to life in prison in the deaths of protesters during last year's uprising, state media reported Wednesday.
Ahram Online reported that Mubarak was in critical condition in Cairo's Tora prison hospital and had been put on a respirator five times. State media said the 84-year-old former leader had a nervous breakdown in recent days and suffers from high blood pressure and depression.
Officials said the pronounced deterioration in Mubarak's health began after his sentencing Saturday when he was transferred from a military hospital to the prison. Media reports said the man who ruled Egypt for 30 years was despondent and initially refused to leave the helicopter that delivered him to Tora.
His son, Gamal, once considered the heir apparent and who is also in prison for alleged financial crimes, was moved to the hospital wing to be near his father, according to media reports. Ahram Online said the decision came after a doctor recommended that Mubarak "needs the company of loved ones."
Activists criticized the publicity around Mubarak's condition as a ploy to generate sympathy for a man who attended his 10-month trial on a stretcher. Many Egyptians think Mubarak's sentence will be overturned on appeal, especially because six of his top police commanders were acquitted in the same trial of complicity to kill hundreds of protesters in a revolt that brought down the government.