Lawyer says Egypt's Mubarak in coma, TV denies

Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:42pm EDT
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By Yasmine Saleh

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak,hospitalised since April and due to stand trial in August, is in a coma, his lawyer said on Sunday, although the state news agency MENA cited a hospital official as denying the report.

"Mubarak suffered a sudden loss of blood pressure but quickly returned to normal again after the necessary medicines were given to him. His medical condition is stable," MENA quoted the official as saying.

Another medical source told Reuters that Mubarak, 83, occasionally slipped into a coma but his condition was stable. Mubarak's condition has been subject to frequent speculation in the Egyptian media, gaining momentum before his August 3 trial.

Protesters have been camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square since July 8 and have protested in other Egyptian cities. Their demands have included calls for the military council now ruling Egypt to speed up Mubarak's trial.

The former president, who is hospitalized in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, faces charges of abuse of power and killing protesters.

More than 840 died in the 18 days of demonstrations that led to his ouster on February 11.

"I was informed about the sudden deterioration in Mubarak's health and I am now on my way to Sharm el-Sheikh. All that I know so far is that the president is in a full coma," Mubarak's lawyer Farid el-Deeb told Reuters. He did not give more details.

Deeb said in June Mubarak was suffering from cancer, although a government minister later appeared to play down that report.   Continued...

<p>Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak salutes his supporters during the opening session of the annual conference of the National Democratic Party (NDP) in Cairo in this file photo taken November 1, 2008. REUTERS/Nasser Nuri</p>