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Mubarak slipping in and out of consciousness as condition worsens

The former Egyptian president’s health is reported to have rapidly deteriorated since his trial.

Hosni Mubarak during his trial.
Hosni Mubarak during his trial.
Image: AP Photo, File

HOSNI MUBARAK’S health deteriorated further today with the ousted president slipping in and out of consciousness and being feed liquids intravenously, Egyptian security officials said.

Doctors had to use a defibrillator twice on 84-year-old Mubarak, according to the officials at Torah prison hospital, where the former leader is serving a life sentence for complicity in the killing of pro-democracy protesters last year.

They did not say whether Mubarak’s heart had stopped or he suffered from irregular heartbeats, but they said that Mubarak has slipped in and out of consciousness three times so far today. He was also reported to be slipping in and out of consciousness yesterday.

Mubarak’s two sons, one-time heir apparent Gamal and wealthy businessman Alaa, were by his side, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media. The two sons are being held at Torah prison awaiting trial on insider trading charges.

According to Egyptian officials, Mubarak’s health has deteriorated sharply since he was convicted on June of failing to prevent the killings of hundreds of protesters during the uprising that ousted him last year. They have also said he is suffering from deep depression.

He and his two sons were acquitted of corruption charges.

Mubarak’s wife, Suzanne, visited him in Torah yesterday and, according to the officials, demanded that he be transferred to a better equipped hospital outside the penal system. The officials said such a transfer was likely unless Mubarak’s health improves.

In his last public appearance at his sentencing on June 2, the bedridden Mubarak sat stoned-faced in the metal defendants’ cage in the courtroom, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses. However, officials said that he broke into tears when he learned that he was being transferred to a prison. It took officials hours to convince Mubarak to leave the helicopter that ferried him from the courthouse to the prison.

Media reports quoted Mubarak at the time as saying the military council who took over after his ouster had deceived him. “Egypt has sold me. They want me to die here,” he reportedly said.

Thousands of Egyptians took to the street of Cairo to protest against the verdicts in the trials of Mubarak and his two sons after they were acquitted of complicity. Some were also angry that the former president was sentenced to life in prison rather than death for complicity in the killing of protesters during last year’s Arab Spring. Mubarak was forced from power on 11 February 2011.

- Additional reporting by Susan Ryan

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