Egypt lays plans for venue of Mubarak trial


There have been reports that the 83-year-old's health has been faltering and that the trial may have to be postponed. But Health Minister Amr Helmy said Mubarak is well enough to be brought to Cairo from a hospital in the Sinai.

The trial of Mubarak, along with two sons and a former interior minister, is scheduled to begin next week. It will be set in a huge Cairo convention center with hundreds of seats for an audience and heavy security.

Inside the courtroom will be an iconic scene from Egyptian trials - a single metal cage where the accused are held. Under the old regime, the media often featured images of Mubarak foes seated in such cages.

The convention center cage will apparently be large enough to hold Mubarak, his two sons and seven of their associates who have been lumped together in one case. There is an 11th defendant who is being tried in absentia.

Protests have escalated recently clamoring for Mubarak and other former regime stalwarts to be brought to justice over the killings of protesters and other crimes over the years. Many activists say the ruling military council which took power from the ousted president - and is headed by Mubarak's former defense minister - is dragging its feet on the prosecutions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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