20 Jun 2012

Hosni Mubarak ‘critically ill’ in hospital

Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is critically ill in hospital, according to military sources in the country.

Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is critically ill in hospital, according to military and sources in the country (Reuters)

Hosni Mubarak was moved from prison to a military hospital on Tuesday after a “health crisis”.

Senior officers and military sources gave various accounts of the 84-year-old Mubarak’s condition, including that he was in a coma and on life support. But they said he was not “clinically dead,” as briefly reported by the state news agency.

The developments come amid high tension over the election of a new, civilian president. Mubarak’s long-time Islamist adversaries in the Muslim Brotherhood say their candidate won the weekend run-off against a former general. But the result is still unknown.

Many Egyptians have been sceptical. Some protested when he was not sentenced to death. Many others suspect fellow officers, who pushed him aside after 30 years to appease the protesters, of conniving to give him a more comfortable confinement.

Mubarak’s legal team has been pressing to have him moved from the prison hospital to a better-equipped facility, saying he was not receiving adequate treatment for his condition. However, prison authorities previously refused to let him go.

There has been no clear statement from independent medical experts on what condition he is in, though state media have reported a variety of illnesses from shortage of breath to heart attacks.

Read more: Egyptians go to the polls in landmark elections

‘Completely unconscious’

On Tuesday evening, two security sources told Reuters he had suffered a heart attack and stroke and was in a coma. They said he was finally to be moved to Cairo’s Maadi military hospital – a smart complex by the Nile, where the last shah of Iran died.

Shortly afterward, the state news agency, in a report echoed by a hospital source at Maadi, said Mubarak was “clinically dead” – a condition normally defined by the lack of heartbeat and breathing, and one from which patients can be revived.

However, General Said Abbas, a member of the ruling military council, later said that, while Mubarak had suffered a stroke, “any talk of him being clinically dead is nonsense.”

Another military source said he was on life support: “He is completely unconscious. He is using artificial respiration.”

A third military source described the former leader as “almost stable,” without elaborating.

General Mamdouh Shaheen, of the military council, told CNN: “His health is deteriorating and he is in critical condition.”

Private television al-Hayat broadcast video which it said was of Mubarak’s move. The images showed a patient on a stretcher being transferred from an ambulance into hospital.

Al-Arabiya television said Mubarak’s wife Suzanne had arrived at Maadi hospital.