On the opening day of his trial in Cairo ex-president Hosni Mubarak has denied charges of corruption and ordering to kill protestors during the uprising that ousted his regime in February 2011.
Doubts as to whether he would appear in court were dispelled when Mubarak was wheeled into the court-room cage on a hospital bed. It had been expected that his defence lawyers would plead his ill health and ask for a delay to the opening of the trial in order to have more time to study the 4,000 pages of evidence against him. Few expected the ex-president to appear in person in court on the second day of Ramadan.
Mubarak pleaded not guilty to the charges and the case has now been adjourned until 15 August. Mubarak is being tried along with two of his sons, the ex-minister of the interior and six former officials.
Outside the courtroom, which was set up within the security of the police academy, opponents of the former president clashed with his supporters and the police had to intervene to separate the two sides. The first day of the trial was broadcast on television and people across the city gathered around screens to watch the proceedings.
During recent weeks there have been increasing protests in Tahir Square, the centre of the 18-day uprising that ousted Mubarak in February 2011. But demonstrators have now decided to suspend protests in the square during the month of Ramadan fasting.