Mohamed Kamel Al-Rashidi, the presiding judge for the retrial of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] on Friday barred lawyers representing victims' families from participating in the hearings. This ruling [Telegraph report] was based on the decision to separate Mubarak's criminal trial from a civil case for damages, which means that lawyers of victims' families will not be allowed to take part in the current hearing. This ruling leaves state prosecutors and Mubarak's defense lawyers as active participants in the hearing, which has been adjourned to June 10 when new evidence will be presented to the court.
Mubarak and members of his government have been the subject of controversial judicial proceedings since the start of the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder]. Last Month Mubarak appeared in court for a retrial on charges [JURIST report] of complicity in the murder of more than 800 protestors. In April the Cairo Criminal Court rejected a second appeal [JURIST report] by Mubarak and ordered him to remain in prison while an investigation into corruption charges continued. Also in April Mubarak was ordered by the prosecutor's office to return to prison [JURIST report] from the military hospital where he was staying after he appeared healthy at a hearing.