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Egyptians Vote With Mubarak Back In Court


Anti-Mubarak protesters held up placards calling for his execution during the former president's trial in the outskirts of Cairo on January 2.
The trial of Egypt's ousted President Hosni Mubarak has resumed as voters in that country go to the polls in the third and final round of elections for the lower house of parliament.

Prosecutors allege that Mubarak and his co-defendants are to blame for the protest deaths of more than 800 protesters during the Arab Spring revolt that toppled Mubarak in February.

An ailing 83-year-old Mubarak, who is being treated between court sessions in a military hospital for a heart condition, was wheeled into the courtroom on a stretcher as police and the army were deployed outside the Police Academy in Cairo where the trial is taking place.

Chief prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman accused Mubarak of imposing a "tyrannical rule" during his nearly 30 years in power.

Mubarak is on trial along with his two sons, Egypt's former interior minister, and senior police officers in a process that began in August.

Mubarak and his sons face additional charges of corruption.

All of the defendants have denied any wrongdoing.

The voting is meanwhile taking place in nine provinces with some 15 million voters -- including in regions of the south, which has the largest proportions of Christian voters, the Nile Delta region north of Cairo, and the Sinai desert region.

Islamist groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Al-Nour party, have won the biggest share of seats in the first two rounds of voting as the country embarks on elections that follow three decades under Mubarak's tightly managed system.

Monitors have said the first two rounds took place mainly without vote-rigging or intimidation.

But the run-up to the third round included the deaths of 17 people in December in violence between security forces and pro-reform protesters who are demanding a swift end to rule by the military council that took over after Mubarak's ouster.

Last week, Egyptian security forces raided nongovernmental pro-democracy and rights groups in an operation that was condemned by Western countries.

After the voting for the lower house of parliament, Egyptians will vote for members of an upper house with the process to elect a full assembly slated to end in February.

compiled from agency reports