Egypt's Mubarak returns to prison

FILE - In this Saturday, June 2, 2012 file photo, Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak lays on a gurney inside a barred cage in the police academy courthouse in Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - In this Saturday, June 2, 2012 file photo, Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak lays on a gurney inside a barred cage in the police academy courthouse in Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo, File)

CAIRO (AP) — Ousted leader Hosni Mubarak returned to prison on Monday after weeks in a top-line military hospital, a security official said.

A prosecutor said that the 84-year old ex-president's health had improved from several weeks ago, when he was reportedly on the brink of death.

However, others in Egypt see the move as an attempt to allay skepticism that officials sympathetic to Mubarak were exaggerating his health crisis so as to give the ex-president a more comfortable imprisonment.

Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison on June 2 for failing to stop the killing of hundreds of protesters during last year's uprising against his regime.

Days after he started serving his sentence incarcerated in the hospital of Cairo's Torah Prison, officials said that his health deteriorated, he began slipping in and out of consciousness and his heart stopped several times.

On June 20, Mubarak was moved to one of the country's well-funded military-run hospitals located in Cairo's suburb of Maadi, the same facility where his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, was declared dead more than 30 years ago after being assassinated by Islamic militants.

But early Monday, Egypt's official Middle East News Agency said that Egypt's prosecutor general Abdel Maguid Mahmoud ordered that Mubarak be moved from back to Torah Prison, where his sons and several of his ministers are held over various corruption charges filed since the uprising.

Adel el-Said, an aide to the prosecutor general, said that a medical committee ruled that Mubarak's condition is good after examining him earlier this month. He told MENA that the committee found out that "there is no real medical justification to keep him in the hospital of the armed forces."

An Egyptian official said that an ambulance carried Mubarak back to Torah under guard. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. He gave no further details.

There has been widespread public skepticism that Mubarak's health is as bad as officials have said. Egypt's security agencies are still staffed with officers who rose to prominence under Mubarak and many are seen as sympathetic to their former boss.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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