Mubarak, Adly relieved following Tantawi testimony

The testimony of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi on Saturday appeared to bring relief to former President Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six aides are all charged with killing protesters during the 25 January revolution.

During his testimony, which lasted around 40 minutes, Tantawi answered 11 questions from the judges, eight from Adly's defense team and one from the plaintiffs' lawyers.

Tantawi, head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, arrived in military uniform.

Throughout his testimony,  he avoided eye contact with the senior Mubarak and the other defendants. Mubarak gazed at Tantawi for a minute when his son Gamal stepped aside.

As soon as Tantawi finished testifying, the defendants, particularly Mubarak and Adly, appeared to be relieved.

Outside the courthouse, Mubarak's supporters cheered as news about the content of Tantawi's testimony leaked out. They then clashed with families of the revolution's martyrs, prompting security forces to intervene.

Many of the plaintiffs’ lawyers were enraged at being unable attend the trial session, which began ahead of its scheduled time.

Sameh Ashour, a former Lawyers Syndicate chief and one of the lawyers for the martyrs' families, said the plaintiffs' lawyers were intentionally subjected to thorough screening procedures to delay their access to the courtroom.

Several plaintiffs’ lawyers requested a new panel of judges, and presiding Judge Ahmed Refaat decided to adjourn the session in order to give time to examine their demand.

Cairo's Court of Cassation will examine the demand for a new judge on Tuesday. If the request is turned down, the trial will resume normally, with the next session taking place on 30 October.

Fathi Ezzat, the head of the Emergency State Security Court, said if a ruling is issued to approve the demand to change judges, the case will return to square one.

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