Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his two sons will stand trial for the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the country's revolution earlier this year. The three could face the death penalty if convicted of the charges.
Egypt's prosecutor general made the announcement on Tuesday after weeks of investigation into the crackdown and alleged corruption. In a statement on Facebook, the prosecutor said that the crimes committed by Mubarak were "intentional murder, attempted killing of some demonstrators ... misuse of influence and deliberately wasting public funds and unlawfully making private financial gains and profits."
Mubarak, 83, has been too ill to be moved to Cairo's Tora prison where his sons, Gamal and Alaa, are being held. Instead, he has remained at a hospital in the Rea Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh following a heart attack.
The former president resigned from office on February 11 after an enormous 18-day uprising that brought thousands upon thousands of Egyptians into the streets. More than 800 people died at the hands of security forces loyal to Mubarak. The Egyptian uprising helped fuel the so-called 'Arab Spring' that has since spread to Libya, Syria and Bahrain.
The Egyptian military took over the administration of the country, promising parliamentary and presidential elections later this year. But the military has been sharply criticized for its heavy-handed tactics and Tahrir Square -- Cairo's central intersection, made famous by the revolution -- continues to see protests every Friday following midday prayers. There are calls for a "million-man march" for May 27 and on Monday, hundreds of bloggers posted messages criticizing the military council and its head, Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi.
There were reports that Mubarak was planning an apology to be broadcast to the nation, during which he would also agree to forfeit his assets, but it never happened.
Mubarak's wife, Suzanne, had also been detained but was released after signing over millions to the state.
A trial would likely take several months and would be open to the Egyptian public, many of whom have long called for his prosecution. However, the death penalty that many hope for is far from assured.