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Egypt’s Ex-Vice President Suleiman Testifies at Mubarak Trial

Egypt’s former Vice President Omar Suleiman testified before the court trying ex-President Hosni Mubarak on charges he conspired to kill some of the protesters who ended his rule, the state-run Nile News said.

Suleiman’s testimony was the first by current and former officials ordered by the court to give evidence at the trial. Many Egyptians hope their testimonies will shed light on Mubarak’s actions during the uprising and what orders he may have given for dealing with demonstrators. Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who heads the military council that took over power from Mubarak in February, was due in court on Sept. 11 before his appearance was postponed.

Mubarak’s trial began on Aug. 3 after pressure from demonstrators demanding a swift and public prosecution of the man they blamed for corruption, political repression and police abuses. At least 846 people were killed during the revolt. He has pleaded not guilty.

After five days of protests demanding Mubarak’s ouster, the former president appointed Suleiman, who was the head of the country’s intelligence service, as his vice president on Jan. 29. Mubarak hadn’t had a vice president since he came to power in 1981.

Other officials summoned to appear in the court are Chief of Staff Sami Annan, Interior Minister Mansour El-Essawy and former Interior Minister Mahmoud Wagdy. Chief Judge Ahmed Refaat ordered the sessions in which the officials appear to be closed and imposed a gag order on the men.

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