Mubarak reportedly in coma, off life support

In this Saturday, June 2, 2012 file photo, Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak lays on a gurney inside a barred cage in the police academy courthouse in Cairo, Egypt. AP Photo, File

(CBS News) CAIRO - Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is reportedly in a coma but his heart and other vital organs are said to be functioning to the point that he has been taken off life support.

The 84-year-old was moved from prison to a military hospital Tuesday amid a flurry of health rumors. State media reported Mubarak had suffered a stroke and was put on life support. Earlier reports that he was "clinically dead" were denied.

Mubarak hasn't been seen in public since he was taken from court on a stretcher 17 days ago to serve a life sentence for failing to stop the killing of protesters during weeks-long demonstrations last year that ultimately resulted in his ouster.

A small crowd of supporters gathered outside the hospital, but with Mubarak no longer a part of the political process, the well-being of the man who ruled Egypt with an iron first for 30 years appears to be of secondary concern to his countrymen.

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When news of his deteriorating condition was broadcast to crowds gathered in Tahrir Square last night there were cheers, and then the protestors moved on to the issue at hand - confronting the military, which effectively has taken control of the country.

Parliament has been dissolved, the military council will write the new constitution, and has issued a decree granting it powers that amount to martial law.

There is further confusion over who actually won last weekend's run-off election for the presidency.

The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood said counting in polling stations gave its candidate Mohammed Morsi a 52-percent majority.

But the camp of his rival, former Mubarak stalwart Ahmed Shafiq, last night issued figure saying he had taken 51 percent.

  • Allen Pizzey

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