Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak is reportedly depressed and refusing solid food


Egyptian ex-president Hosni Mubarak, pictured here in 2009, is said to be depressed and refusing solid food as he awaits trial at a Red Sea hospital.


Attila Kisbenedek

Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is depressed and is refusing to eat solid food as he awaits trial in hospital, where he is being treated for a heart condition, the state-run MENA news agency reported.

Hospital officials in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, where Mubarak is being held in custody, say he is weak, losing weight and "not eating enough food to keep him alive," the BBC reported, quoting MENA.

Mubarak stepped down in February after weeks of sometimes violent turmoil in which more than 840 people died.

He has been charged with corruption and killing protesters during the popular uprising that toppled his autocratic, US-backed regime and is due to stand trial in a week.

The BBC said Mubarak's critics say he is trying to avoid standing trial by feigning illness.

"There does now seem to be growing evidence that he is an increasingly enfeebled old man," it said, quoting Cairo correspondent Jon Leyne.

Several former ministers, officials and businessmen associated with Mubarak's regime are on trial, as the country's transitional military rulers try to make good on their promises to swiftly atone for past wrongs.

But there are mounting public concerns that justice is too slow and is too often taking place in military tribunals.