Mubarak to be flown to stand trial in Cairo soon

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A helicopter to transport Egyptian ex-president Hosni Mubarak to a trial in Cairo landed early on Wednesday in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the ousted leader was undergoing treatment, the Nile News TV channel reported.

A helicopter to transport Egyptian ex-president Hosni Mubarak to a trial in Cairo landed early on Wednesday in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the ousted leader was undergoing treatment, the Nile News TV channel reported.

Additional military units arrived to Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday to provide safe transportation of the former president.

Mubarak's transfer to a Cairo prison hospital has been repeatedly delayed due to poor health.

According to Egyptian media reports, the helicopter has all medical equipment necessary for the ex-president's transportation. It is scheduled to take off at 6:00 local time (4:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

The 83-year-old former leader, who was taken to a Sharm el-Sheikh hospital with cardiovascular problems, is to appear in court later on Wednesday. He and his two sons are charged with power abuse, corruption and the killing of protesters during February's revolution, which forced him from power.

There are doubts that Mubarak will appear in court, at least on Wednesday. His lawyer will most likely seek to postpone the hearings due to the former president's poor health. In addition, the country's legislation allows defendants to skip the first hearing.

Along with Mubarak, former interior minister Habib El-Adly and the ministry's six top officials are also to stand trial.

Sessions will be held at the Police Academy in New Cairo in the southeastern outskirts of the capital. The building's main lecture hall was refurbished for the purpose. The room, able to house some 600 people, has three doors - for the public, the defendants and the judges, and a three-meter tall steel barrier for the defendants.

Some 1,100 police officers will guard the building during the trial. Entrances will be guarded jointly by special units of the Interior and Defense ministries.

The presiding judge earlier said the trial will be quick and open, with court sessions being broadcast live by the state TV channel. Other reporters, however, were banned from bringing cameras and other equipment to the hearings.

Some 10 foreign journalists were selected to attend the trial, mostly representing major news agencies. Other applicants will be allowed to enter the academy building, but not the main hall.

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