By SARAH EL DEEB
Egypt’s state news agency said Tuesday that Hosni Mubarak has suffered a stroke, and prison officials said he is likely to be moved out of his prison hospital to a military facility nearby.
State TV said the 84-year-old ousted president, who is serving a life prison sentence, was in a “critical” condition and has been placed on a respirator. The state news agency MENA said earlier Mubarak’s heart stopped and a defibrillator was used to restart it.
It later reported that the prison authority has called in his doctors to treat his stroke in “a fast deterioration of his health” and that they were giving him medications to break up blood clots.
A prison official said doctors reported that Mubarak has fallen unconscious. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. He said the prison authorities are considering moving him to the military hospital nearby in Maadi, a suburb near Torah Prison where he is held.
MENA also reported he will likely be moved in the next hours if his health deteriorates. It denied Mubarak has fallen unconscious and said he has not yet been moved out of the prison hospital.
Moving Mubarak out of prison would likely anger many in the public, where there is a widespread suspicion that security and military officials sympathetic to their old boss are giving him preferential treatment. The public is already stirred up over recent decisions by the ruling military council that have stripped the incoming president from most of his powers, further enshrining the powers of the military. Tens of thousands gathered in Tahrir Square on Tuesday to protest the new decisions.
Mubarak was sentenced to a life in prison on June 2 for failing to stop the killing of protesters during last year’s uprising against him. He was transferred to prison after spending months in a military facility in detention. Officials have since repeatedly reported his health was deteriorating.
Since his arrival at the prison directly after his sentencing, Mubarak has been suffering from high blood pressure and breathing difficulties and deep depression, according to prison officials. His lawyer said he didn’t trust the doctors and appealed for his transfer to a better equipped hospital.