CAIRO -- Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ordered back to Tora Prison after a medical report Wednesday determined that he no longer needed advanced treatment at a military hospital along the Nile.
A probe by the general prosecutor’s office into Mubarak's health followed his robust appearance during a court session Saturday on murder-related charges. His eyes concealed beneath tinted glasses, the 84-year-old deposed leader looked fit as he confidently waved and smiled at supporters through iron bars.
Mubarak's lawyers said they intended to appeal the prosecutor’s decision.
"We will file another case and we will not be quiet against this," said Yousry Abdelrazek, the head of Mubarak's volunteer defense team. "At the [military] hospital he is stable and he gets better but as soon as he leaves, he doesn't get the required care and so his health deteriorates again."
He added that the Islamist-led government of President Mohamed Morsi is “trying to kill him.”
Mubarak’s health has been an issue since his arrest two years ago. The defense claims he suffers from heart and other ailments, but prosecutors, and much of the public, believe reports of Mubarak’s declining condition are a ruse to evoke sympathy and avoid imprisonment.
The prosecutor’s order came the same day a Cairo court of appeals announced that Mubarak would be retried on May 11 for complicity in the deaths of more than 850 protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his three-decade hold on power.
Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison last year but the verdict was overturned and he was granted a new trial on the complicity charges. A court ordered this week that he should be freed while he awaits the trial but he remained in detention on separate financial corruption charges.
His main defense lawyer, Farid Deeb, argued that Mubarak’s imprisonment was no longer legal because two years had gone by since he was first charged.
Mubarak’s return to Tora will put him closer to his sons, Alaa and Gamal, who also await corruption trials.