(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.
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.