The defense teams of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, his sons and seven former security officials will begin to present their cases from next Tuesday and have a month to wrap them up, the presiding judge said.
The first five days will be dedicated to the team defending Mubarak and his sons, with the remainder to lawyers representing former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six top security chiefs.
The last hearing is set for Feb.16.
The court is then expected to recess for deliberation after which the judge will set a date for the verdict.
The announcement was made on Tuesday by Judge Ahmed Refaat as lawyers representing families of protesters killed in the revolt that unseated Mubarak concluded their case and urged the court to sentence him to death, an AFP correspondent reported.
For the first time since the trial started on Aug. 3, Egypt’s ailing former strongman sat in a wheelchair instead of lying on a stretcher, the correspondent said.
Judge Refaat said he decided “to allocate 25 sessions to the defense.”
The prosecution has called for Mubarak to be hanged for the killing of hundreds of demonstrators in the January-February 2011 revolt that forced him out of power.
On Monday, ten lawyers representing the civil society complainants at the trial of Mubarak demanded adding high treason to the charges, accusing the ousted president of premeditated murder, incitement, complicity in killing protesters and failure to stop violence against them, Egypt’s daily al-Masry al-Youm reported.
Lawyer Amir Salem also demanded charging former vice president and intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, and head of the ruling military council Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi of perjury and obstruction of justice in light of their testimony before the court last September, the report said.
Both close associates of Mubarak throughout his rule, have reportedly testified in favor of the ousted president in court sessions that were closed to the media.
Salem requested that Judge Ahmed Refaat “order the prosecutors to file a charge of giving false testimony to Field Marshal Tantawi.”
Tantawi, the head of the ruling military council, who was Mubarak’s defense minister for 20 years, and Suleiman, who commanded the general intelligence services, were considered to have been close to the former president.
No official has yet been convicted over the killing of protesters during the 18-day revolt. Mubarak and the other defendants deny any responsibility for the deaths.
Tantawi and Suleiman gave witness accounts under a media blackout in September but attending lawyers said they denied knowing that Mubarak had given orders to fire at protesters.
“The defendants violated the riot act when they closed off all entrance points to Tahrir Square, not leaving one safe exit for protesters,” said Khaled Abu Bakr, another lawyer for the victims, according to Reuters.
“(Former Interior Minister Habib) al-Adly utilized all means of suppression against protesters to show he was saving the regime of Mubarak,” he said.
The prosecution last week demanded “death by hanging” for Mubarak.
But on Monday, former Deputy Prime Minister Yehia al-Gamal said he doubted Mubarak is to face the death penalty, while also ruling out that he would be acquitted.
He told Egyptian satellite channel, CBC, the judges handling the trial will not be merciful to Mubarak but did not elaborate on how he reached his prediction about the court verdict, al-Masry al-Youm reports.
Last week chief prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman told the court that Mubarak must have ordered police to open fire on protesters during the 18-day uprising that ended his three-decade rule on Feb. 11, leaving more than 850 dead.
Mubarak − who is detained in a military hospital for a heart condition − went on trial on Aug. 3, after protesters stepped up demonstrations calling on the ruling military to try him and ex-regime officials.
Mubarak’s two sons, Alaa and Gamal, are on trial with their father on separate corruption charges.
On Tuesday, families of the victims wrapped up two days of hearings during which they called for the death penalty against Mubarak, whom they hold responsible for the deaths of protesters.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for the government addressed the court on Tuesday and asked that Mubarak and his co-defendants pay the authorities one billion Egyptian pounds ($150 million/117 million euros) in compensation “for the crimes they carried out.”
Ashraf Mukhtar said the funds were needed to cover “compensation paid to the families of the victims, those wounded and to rebuild property destroyed” during the demonstrations.