Mubarak in stable condition, says prison official

Ousted President Hosni Mubarak was in a stable condition on Tuesday, a prison official said, after sources reported a day before that the jailed 84-year-old's health had deteriorated and that he had received treatment to restart his heart.

Speculation about Mubarak's health has swirled since he was jailed for life on 2 June for failing to halt the killing of protesters who toppled him. Hundreds were killed in the 18-day uprising that ended his 30-year rule on 11 February 2011.

Mubarak's lawyer told Reuters on Monday that Mubarak's status was "very critical" and that he should be moved to a better equipped facility outside of the prison.

Critics say his illness is being exaggerated to win public sympathy and to prepare for any move out of jail to another medical facility.

The prison official, who asked not to be named, described his state on Tuesday as "stable" but did not give details.

A second source said he was due to receive visitors on Tuesday. On Monday, a state newspaper had reported he had been taken outside to receive some sun and was eating light foods regularly, such as jelly.

Al-Masry Al-Youm on its Facebook page, citing what it called a high-level source in the Interior Ministry, also reported that Mubarak was stable.

Egypt's prison authority approved on Monday a request to let Mubarak's eldest son Alaa, who is being held at the jail pending trial, stay close to him in the prison hospital because of his deteriorating health, security sources said.

His youngest son, Gamal, once viewed as heir-apparent to the presidency and who is also detained pending trial, was moved closer to him earlier.

Egypt's official news agency on Monday denied that Mubarak had slipped into a coma as some reports suggested. A security official, however, said Mubarak's heart had briefly stopped on Monday and had to be restarted by a medical team.

Mubarak was visited by his wife and the wives of his two sons on Sunday.

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