Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Reportedly Suffers Heart Attack

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[EARLIER REPORT BELOW]

Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak suffered a heart attack during questioning, state TV reported Tuesday.

Mubarak has been hospitalized in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he has been living since his overthrow in February, security sources told AFP on Tuesday.

“Mubarak was admitted to the Sharm el-Sheikh International Hospital this afternoon, amid a very heavy security presence in the town,” a security source told AFP.

Contacted by AFP, a hospital source refused to comment on the news and said that “the minister of health will make an announcement” shortly.

Al Jazeera Report at 12:00PM EST: Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president, has been hospitalised at the Red Sea port of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he has been staying since he was ousted from power by a popular uprising on February 11.

“He has been under house arrest in Sharm el-Sheikh ever since he was ousted from power. We are still not sure of what condition he is in, but the former president has been complaining that he’s been unwell for some time now,” reported Zeina Khodr, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Cairo, on Tuesday.

Egyptian security officials told the Associated Press news agency that Mubarak arrived under heavy police protection at the hospital, which was being picketed by pro-democracy activists.

Mubarak has kept a low profile since he stepped down from the presidency, but released an audio message earlier this week saying that he would cooperate fully with the prosecutor-general’s investigations into allegations of corruption committed by his himself and family members.

Mubarak had been expected to be questioned by investigators for the first time on Tuesday in connection with corruption allegations and violence against protesters during the uprising.

The public prosecutor issued the summons on Sunday.

Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal have also been summoned for questioning.

“He was supposed to travel to Cairo to be questioned about his wealth, about his assets, by the prosecutor-general here, but he said that he was unable to travel. Now whether or not its a coincidence that he falls ill just days after the prosecutor-general decided to summon him as well as his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, for questioning about their wealth and their assets … in fact, at this hour, ministry of justice officials are questioning his sons,” Khodr reported.

“Now this has been a demand of the pro-democracy protesters here in Egypt for the prosecution of the president, as well as high-ranking members of the former regime, in order to hold them accountable for what they believe was the amassing of billions of dollars of wealth.”

Mubarak also has a history of illnesses, and while in power would routinely travel to Germany for check-ups. The former president had suffered from a number of health problems and had undergone gallbladder surgery in the days leading up to the end of his rule.

“Definitely this news will not be welcomed by pro-democracy protesters, this is what many of them actually feared, that the president will not be tried, will not be held accountable for his actions over recent decades. And definitely, a lot of them will be sceptical – they will wonder whether or not he is really sick,” Khodr said.

She said that many pro-democracy activists were “ridiculing” Mubarak’s hospitalisation, and were of the opinion that the timing of his admission to hospital was not coincidental.

“I feel that I’m watching a ridiculous soap opera that has been dragging on now, and directed by the miltiary junta, for more than two months,” Hossam el-Hamalawry, an Egyptian pro-democracy activist, told Al Jazeera.

“I think the demands of the revolutionaries and the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets since the start of the uprising has been to put Hosni Mubarak on trial. Not just for financial corruption … but for the murder of protesters and for treason,” he said.

There has been no official statement from the army or health authorities regarding Mubarak’s admission, but sources within the army have confirmed that the former president is indeed being looked at by doctors.

(Source: Al Jazeera)