A prosecutor detailed charges Wednesday against Egypt's ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, accusing him of complicity in the killing of protesters during the uprising against his rule and of corruption in accepting gifts to facilitate a land deal.
Mubarak denied the charges, as did his sons, Gamal and Alaa, who were also accused in the corruption charges.
Under the top charge, read out by chief prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman, Mubarak was accused of conspiring with his security chief, former interior minister Habib el-Adly, to commit the premeditated murder and the attempted murder of protesters. The crackdown on the 18-day wave of anti-regime demonstration killed 850 protesters, before Mubarak was forced to resign on Feb. 11.
The charge carries a possible death penalty.
Suleiman said Mubarak incited members of the security forces to shoot at peaceful protesters and run them over with police cars with the intention of killing them, and "allowed (el-Adly) to use live ammunition."
He said Mubarak "agreed to the continuation of attacks against them (protesters) without intervening." The aim, Suleiman charged, was to kill some protesters so that "the rest are forced to disperse and abandon their demands so he can protect his job and continue to rule."
Among the dead were minors, the prosecutor said.
In the corruption charge, Mubarak and his sons are accused of accepting five villas worth nearly $7 million in Sharm el-Sheikh from prominent businessman Hussein Salem, a family friend.
In return, Mubarak used his influence with the governor of South Sinai, where Sharm el-Sheikh is located, to ensure Salem could buy prime real estate in the town at a vastly reduced price to build a resort complex, according to the charges. Salem is a co-defendant with the Mubaraks, but is being tried in absentia. He is currently under arrest in Spain on money laundering charges.
Mubarak faces another corruption charge for allegedly conspiring with his oil minister and Salem on a natural gas export deal with Israel.
The gas, said Suleiman, was sold to Israel at prices lower than world levels, costing the Egyptian treasury $714 million in lost revenues. The export contract was awarded to Salem without a tender, the prosecutor said, and he stood to gain some $2 billion.