Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's condition showed a "slight" improvement on Wednesday, and he was visited in his prison hospital by a physical therapist to treat him for bed sores. But security officials say he is refusing prison food and is suspicious of his doctors.
The officials at Cairo’s Tora prison, where the 84-year-old Mubarak is serving a life sentence, said he had eaten yogurt and drunk juice, apparently brought in by visitors. He was being given liquids and vitamins intravenously. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.
"Mubarak doesn't trust anyone anymore. He was surprised to find new doctors treating him, not the ones who treated him before, and is afraid to take anything from anyone. He doesn't recognize the faces around him. This is a big problem for him," Mubarak's lawyer, Farid el-Deeb, said in an interview on a late night program on CBC, a private TV station, on Monday.
El-Deeb said he had asked concerned authorities to transfer Mubarak to a better-equipped military hospital because of his fragile health. He painted a picture of a paranoid man who does not trust the medical team in the prison and who has at times resisted their instructions. El-Deeb also said Mubarak did not trust his doctors and feared they were out to kill him.
Mubarak's two sons, detained in Tora while awaiting trial on charges of insider trading, were by his side in the intensive care unit of the prison's hospital.
Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison on June 2 for failing to prevent the killing of protesters during the uprising that toppled his regime 16 months ago. Since his arrival at the prison directly after his sentencing, Mubarak has been suffering from high blood pressure, breathing difficulties and deep depression, according to prison officials.
On Monday, doctors used a defibrillator on him twice after they could not find his pulse.
His lawyer said the decision to transfer him to the prison hospital was a surprise to him and his team, because despite pressure from parliament and protesters to send Mubarak to prison, his doctors had said his condition did not permit this.
Since his arrest in April 2011, Mubarak had spent time in a luxury suite of a hospital in his favorite Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. After his trial began in August, he was transferred to a military hospital on the outskirts of Cairo, where he was regularly visited by family, and where he was said to have exercised and appeared in pictures on his feet, unlike his appearances in court on a stretcher.