Prosecution in Mubarak trial calls for death penalty

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Mustafa Suleiman, the chief prosecutor in the trial of Egypt's former leader Hosni Mubarak, called for the death penalty for the deposed president and his five co-defendants.

Mubarak is on trial for killing an estimated 850 people in a crackdown in January and February of last year. The prosecution rested its case today, and the judge is expected to issue a date for a verdict on Wednesday. 

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A crucial piece of evidence were Mubarak's own public words before the popular revolt swept him from power. "On Monday, Suleiman pointed to two of Mubarak's speeches during the unrest, in which the former president called on authorities to protect the people. The chief prosecutor said this was further proof that protesters were under attack," the Associated Press reported. Suleiman said Mubarak and his co-defendants deserved the death penalty because the regime's crimes reached beyond those killed in the short, brutal crackdown last winter.

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Though public opinion is firmly against Mubarak, Reuters reported that fears are growing that the prosecution, which worked "around the clock" compiling evidence, did not present a strong enough case. "We say the evidence is strong and decisive," said Suleiman.

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