Judge Pulls Plug on Mubarak Trial Feed Over Lawyer Camera 'Lust'

Lawyers reportedly came to blows over their chance to go on television

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The presiding judge pulled the plug on the live broadcast of Hosni Mubarak's trial Monday after lawyers shoved each other in a frenzied attempt to get on TV, the Associated Press reports. Judge Ahmed Rifaat says he's trying to "protect the public interest" in the case against the deposed Egyptian ruler, after what the Associated Press calls a "circus-like atmosphere" in the courtroom.

The Associated Press explains:

Lawyers for the victims' families bickered over their turns to address the judge and came close to exchanging blows with Mubarak supporters, all in front of the television cameras. Some among them just waved and smiled to the cameras.
"The decision is meant to stop the lust (that) people in the courtroom are showing for getting on television," said lawyer Mukhtar Noah, who represents the families of more than 200 victims. "It was not a political decision."
Video of the lawyers, standing shoulder to shoulder, as they struggle to get some attention:
McClatchy's Hannah Allam and Refaat Ahmed note that Rifaat became frustrated with the lawyers' attention-seeking:
Typically composed and matter-of-fact, the judge at one point appeared to lose patience with the disorganized, motley crew of attorneys for the families of the more than 900 protesters who died in the 18-day uprising...
Mubarak, who's being held in a military hospital, arrived by ambulance and, as in the first hearing, was wheeled into court on a hospital gurney with an intravenous drip. This time, he was dressed in a tracksuit instead of the standard white prison-issue uniform.
The New Yorker's Amy Davidson says decision nonetheless strikes a blow against the transparency Egypt's new government is hoping to install in the wake of Mubarak's ouster.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.