Thrown in a cage, the humbled former Egyptian president pleaded not guilty on the opening day of his trial. Alastair Beach reports from Cairo and talks to the jeering crowds outside.
It was only when the chopper appeared out of the bright, blue sky that many Egyptians finally believed that their fallen pharaoh would face the music.
Some HAD Been Waiting in the Morning Sunshine for at Least Two Hours, Standing Outside the vast Police-aca Demy complex on the eastern Edge of Cairo where President Hosni Mubarak is being Former Tried in a Makeshift courtroom.
Around at 8:55 am, as the Helicopter buzzed in over the ranks of news Teams and satellite Dishes, there Were cheers from some of the Crowd as it dipped Toward the Ground and Landed beyond the 15-Foot Wall surroundin g the academy.
"The Criminal is here! The Criminal is here!" Shouted a group of protesters waving Egyptian flags and Homemade Banners. Not far Away a couple of soldiers cradled Their Kalashniko vs They Eyed as the Personnel Action from an armored carrier.
Until this morning many Egyptians had suspected that the man who had ruled them since 1981 might somehow evade his date with destiny.
"I thought it was not going to happen," Mohammad Quessny, 23, told The Daily Beast while standing in front of the giant TV screen erected outside the academy. "Now he is here. I can not believe it."
Neither could some of the Pro-Mubara k Supporters who HAD arrived to Support Their voice. Before the Former President entered the courtroom, there Were a Number of running battles with the Anti-Mubar AK crowds. Squads of Baton-Wiel Ding Riot Police Charged in and separated the sides under a shower of rocks and abuse.
It was not Long before Mubarak, a Frail 83-year-ol d who was Air Force Chief During Egypt's 1973 war with Israel, Appeared in Front of the Cameras. Accompanie d by His Two Sons, Gamal and Alaa, who Were Both Dressed in white prison uniforms, the former president cut a pathetic figure as he was wheeled in on a hospital bed.