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Egypt: clashes outside courtroom as Mubarak trial resumes

The first witnesses take the stand on Monday in the trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt mubarak trial protests 09 05 11 0Enlarge
Egyptian riot policemen stand guard outside the police academy as a large screen shows ousted president Hosni Mubarak lying on a stretcher inside a cell at the courtroom during his trial in Cairo on August 15, 2011. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

The trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resumed on Monday, with clashes erupting between protesters, police forces, and supporters of the ouster leader.

Witnesses outside the Cairo courtroom on Monday said that police forces used batons to push back rock-throwing protesters.

Gulf News reports:

The angry families [of those killed during Egypt’s uprising] threw stones at the security forces when they barred them from entering the venue of the trial without permits, according to security sources. Around five people, including a policeman, were injured in the clashes, said the sources.

Mubarak is in court to face charges of abuse of power, corruption, and allegations that he – along with his two sons, Gamal and Alaa – ordered police forces to shoot protesters during Egypt’s bloody uprising earlier this year.

More than 800 people were killed during the uprising, which started on January 25.

The first witnesses - four high-ranking policemen - were scheduled to appear at the trial on Monday afternoon.  One of them was Hussein Saeed Mohamed Mursi, a police general who worked in an operations room during the uprising, according to Reuters.

(GlobalPost in Cairo: It's not easy being a Mubarak supporter these days)

Egypt’s state media said that police forces also attacked some reporters outside the courtroom on Monday.

“Tens of Mubarak's supporters threw stones at families of martyrs, journalists as well as police forces that had been trying to separate all sides,” reported Al-Ahram Online, an English-language edition of the state-funded newspaper.

Journalists on the scene used social media to describe the chaotic scene outside the courtroom before the proceedings began.

“Policeman threatned me to break my camera! Got him on film! #MubarakTrial,” tweeted Farah Saafan, a video journalist for a Cairo-based newspaper.

Monday's session was held behind closed doors, after a judge banned live television crews from covering the trial.  

We will continue to update this post as news from the Mubarak trial comes in throughout day.

Update at 10:48 a.m. ET - CNN reports that one of the witnesses in the Mubarak trial testified on Monday that there was "no order to shoot protesters" during Egypt's uprising.  Video of the earlier clashes outside the courtroom has also been aired on Egyptian state television.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-casbah/egypt-clashes-outside-courtroom-mubarak-trial-resumes