CAIRO — The lawyer of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak said yesterday that the health of his 84-year-old client was “very critical” and he should be urgently moved to a hospital from the ill-equipped prison facility.
Farid el-Deeb said that Mubarak’s health condition was worsening, with a frequent irregular heart beat. Mubarak was drifting in and out of consciousness, a source at the facility said yesterday.
Prison officials had earlier approved a request by the former leader to let his oldest son, Alaa, stay with him in the Tora prison hospital because of his deteriorating health, state-run media reported.
Another request to have his youngest son, Gamal, close to him was also approved. The opposition say statements about his failing health are being made to justify his transfer to a military hospital.
Opponents of Mubarak claim the former president and those around him were exaggerating his health condition.
“This is deliberate murder. This is revenge. I am not saying release him. I am saying take him to a hospital where he can be kept and taken care of,” Deeb said, attributing the lack of response to his requests to fear of a public backlash.
“The president is in a very bad state. Mubarak’s state is very critical and he must be transferred immediately to a hospital. He spent his life in service of the country and this is unacceptable to keep him in this state,” he added.
Deeb said authorities had ignored medical records pointing to the ill-health which had kept him in a high-end private hospital for the duration of his trial.
Last week, medical sources said Mubarak had to be put on an artificial ventilator for extended periods. His wife and daughters-in-law were allowed an exceptional visit on Sunday.
“I have written official letters, attaching all his medical reports, to every actor involved. No one has responded. I am calling on them to move as fast as possible,” Deeb said.
Mubarak had requested his son Alaa be moved close to him after authorities agreed to a request to have his youngest son, Gamal, brought next to him.
The state news agency citing a security source in the Interior Ministry said prison authorities approved the move in response to “a deterioration in his health”.
It also cited a source saying he suffered from high blood pressure and shortness of breath, prompting the doctors to put him on a respirator.
Security sources said last week that Mubarak was given artificial respiration five times in one day and doctors recommended he be moved to a military hospital or back to the medical facility he was in prior to his conviction. Prison sources said he was awake and with his sons.