Cairo: The case against Hosni Mubarak has suffered a blow after top police officers told a trial court here that orders to open fire on anti-regime protesters were not given by the fallen Egyptian strongman but by the chief of anti-riot forces.

The court has adjourned till September 7 the trial after several witnesses testified for the first time in the trial of the ousted president yesterday.
Top police general Hussein Saeed Mursi and three other key witness made crucial depositions in the court.

The court heard one witness pointing a finger of blame at the chief of anti-riot forces for dozens of deaths in Egypt's revolution.

Monday’s session was the third since the trial opened on August 3.

The court is investigating whether the orders to fire on the crowds were solely given by the interior ministry or the president.

Judge Ahmed Refaat, the presiding judge in the trial of Mubarak, ordered the trial be adjourned to Wednesday to hear the testimonies of prosecution witnesses.

Four police officers took the witness stand, including Mursi who headed the anti-riot police's communications department at the time of the uprising.

Mursi said, that General Ahmed Ramzi, head of anti-riot forces, gave "clear instructions to protect the interior ministry and deal with the demonstrators with automatic weapons." Ramzi is one of the accused in the trial along with Mubarak, former interior minister Habib al-Adly and other police officials. Mubarak's two sons Alaa and Gamal are being tried on graft charges, as well as their father.

Two other police officers summoned to back the case that Mubarak and six security commanders ordered the shootings of anti-regime protesters during a revolt testified they were in fact ordered to exercise "restraint".

Presiding judge Refaat cross examined communications director at the Interior Ministry Central Security Sector Major General Hussein Moussa about the events that took place between January 25 and February 11.

At the beginning of his testimony, Moussa told Judge Refaat that he was responsible for following up all communications of the Central Security Forces all over Egypt. He said he heard an order to use machine guns against protesters on January 28.

(Agencies)