Two former Egyptian presidents have appeared in the same Cairo courtroom with Hosni Mubarak testifying in the retrial of his successor Mohamed Morsi on mass jailbreak charges.
Overthrown during the 2011 protests that ended his 30-year rule, a frail, grey-haired Mubarak could be seen walking into the courtroom with a cane on Wednesday.
During his testimony against Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, 90-year-old Mubarak claimed he could not answer most questions, saying he needed permission from the military and current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Earlier in the month, Mubarak failed to make a court appearance in the case. His lawyer, Farid al-Deeb, had told the Cairo Criminal Court that the former president was a member of the military and that he had to obtain permission from the military to appear in court.
Since his removal from power in a military coup staged by Sisi, Morsi has been tried in several different cases.
In April 2015, he was sentenced to 20 years on charges of ordering the arrest and torture of protesters in clashes outside the presidential palace in 2012.
In September 2016, Morsi was sentenced to another 25 years in prison on charges of passing intelligence to Qatar. And in December 2017, he was also sentenced to three years on charges of insulting the judiciary.
After Morsi’s 2013 removal, Sisi unleashed a fierce crackdown on his opponents, with tens of thousands jailed with charge and without in conditions condemned by human rights groups.
Amnesty International has described Egypt’s judicial system as “horrendously broken” and described death sentences handed out to Morsi and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood in previous trials as a “vengeful march to the gallows.”
In a report released in March, a panel of British MPs and lawyers said Morsi’s conditions of imprisonment had left him facing a “premature death”.
The panel, which was commissioned by Morsi’s family, said the former leader is “receiving inadequate medical care, particularly inadequate management of his diabetes, and inadequate management of his liver disease”.
“The consequence of this inadequate care is likely to be rapid deterioration of his long-term conditions, which is likely to lead to premature death,” it said.