Russia expresses concern on request for Mubarak death penalty
MOSCOW - Russia on Saturday said it was concerned after Egyptian prosecutors demanded a death sentence for fallen leader Hosni Mubarak, calling for humanitarian factors to be considered.
"Such announcements are heard in Moscow with concern," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.
While saying that Russia respected the ongoing trial as an internal affair for Egypt, the ministry cited humanitarian factors which it said should be taken into account in Mubarak's sentencing.
"We consider it possible to take into account humanitarian considerations in the case of Hosni Mubarak. After all we are talking about a very elderly person, who is 83, and who according to available information is seriously ill."
"What's more, as a political figure, he last February took the decision to relinquish power, which was significant in preventing further deaths among innocent people," the ministry said.
Mubarak is detained in a military hospital where he is being treated for a heart condition.
He is accused of ordering the killings of protestors during the revolt that ended with his overthrow. His two sons, Alaa and Gamal, are also on trial on separate corruption charges. They have all pleaded not guilty.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in June last year called for a humane and fair outcome for Mubarak.
Mubarak's party won two rounds of parliamentary polls in November and December 2010 amid accusations of fraud. Mass protests in January and February 2011 ended his three-decade-long rule.