Mubarak hospitalized in Saudi Arabia, reports state press


Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak speaks to the media on March 4, 2010, in Berlin, Germany.


Sean Gallup

Speculation has mounted that former dictator Hosni Mubarak has left Egypt for Saudi Arabia to be treated for cancer.

The state-owned Egyptian newspaper Al-Akhbar reported Wednesday that Mubarak left his home in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheik and was being treated in a hospital in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, for colon and pancreatic cancer.

The army has denied rumors about Mubarak's deteriorating health condition.

The report said Mubarak was receiving chemotherapy for an hour every five days and that his family was with him in the military wing of the hospital.

Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11 after massive public demonstrations demanded an end to this 30-year rule. Neither he nor his family have been seen in public or heard from since he stepped down.

It would have been unthinkable for the government daily to run such a report before the February uprising as it would have needed official permission to cover Mubarak's health condition, reports the Jerusalem Post.

Egyptian analysts said Mubarak might also have gone to Saudi Arabia to perform a pilgrimage to Mecca or out of fear Egypt's prosecutor general was planning to ban the family's assets and prevent them from traveling.

The public prosecutor's office in Cairo said it has received several complaints about how Mubarak increased his wealth by illegitimate means in Egypt, according to a statement sent to Bloomberg.

On Feb. 21, Egypt's prosecutor general, Abdel Magid Mahmud, asked the foreign minister to request that the foreign assets of the former president and his family be frozen.

"Senior military officers have been protective of Mr. Mubarak as one of their own, a former commander of the air force who they believe deserves a certain degree of deference for both his presidency and his preceding military career. On the other hand, Mr. Mubarak stressed in his speeches right before stepping down that he had spent his life in service to his country and he planned to die in Egypt," reports the New York Times.

-- Hanna Ingber Win

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