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August 23, 2017

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Court postpones trial of Egypt's Mubarak until Dec. 28

CAIRO--The trial of Egypt's ousted leader Hosni Mubarak on charges of complicity in the killing of more than 800 protesters this year has been adjourned until Dec. 28.

Mubarak's trial began nearly three months ago, and Sunday's lengthy adjournment was certain to frustrate leaders of the anti-Mubarak protest movement who want to see the former leader and his co-defendants — his two sons, security chief and six top police officers — brought swiftly to justice.

Mubarak stepped down in February after a popular uprising. Reformers are frustrated by what they see as the slow progress by Egypt's military rulers to liberalize the system.

The adjournment was meant to allow time for another court to rule on a request by lawyers for the victims to remove the three-judge panel in Mubarak's trial. That ruling is expected on Nov. 3.

Mubarak, his two sons, former security chief and the six police officers sat in the defendants' cage for Sunday's 10-minute hearing. If convicted, Mubarak could face the death penalty. Mubarak and his sons also face corruption charges.

An 18-day uprising forced Mubarak to step down Feb. 11.

Also Sunday, two prominent activists were summoned for questioning by military prosecutors for their alleged role in the incitement of clashes this month in which 27 people, most of them Christians, were killed and hundreds were wounded.

The two refused to answer the prosecutors' questions on grounds that the military was involved in the violence and therefore could not be impartial, according to rights lawyer Gamal Eid.

Alaa Abdel-Fattah was ordered held in custody for 15 days, while Bahaa Saber was released.

The two are suspected of inciting the violence and of damaging military property.

The questioning of the two set social networks abuzz with comments by activists denouncing the move and calling for the ouster of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the body of top military officers that took over from Mubarak.

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