CAIRO — In his first speech since being put on trial, Egypt's toppled President Hosni Mubarak denied Wednesday that he ordered the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that deposed him. Speaking from a gurney, the 86-year-old former leader sought to mend his image, clearly emboldened by the country's changed political landscape.
Speaking from inside a cage that holds defendants, Mubarak gave a 23-minute address aired live on national television. "Hosni Mubarak who appears before you today would never order the killing of protesters or the shedding the blood of Egyptians," the former autocrat said, speaking in the third person in a defiant statement.
Mubarak was found guilty in June 2012 of failing to stop the killing of more than 900 protesters during the 18-day uprising in 2011 and was sentenced to life in prison. His conviction was overturned in January 2013 and a retrial began in April 2013.
Relaxed and confident, Mubarak spoke about his years in the military, portraying himself as a patriotic war veteran who successfully fought terrorism. He also cast his 29-year-old rule as one that stabilized the country and achieved unprecedented economic growth.