Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is said to be in delicate health, reportedly struggling with heart issues, just days after being sentenced to life in prison for complicity in the killing of about 850 protesters during the early days leading up to the January 2011 revolution.
Shortly after Mubarak's verdict was announced on Saturday, there were riots both inside and outside the courthouse as the former dictator, ousted from power as a result of the revolution, was flown by helicopter to a prison hospital due to a "health crisis."
Mubarak, who has attended his six-month long court trial while confined to a hospital gurney, was considered to be an oppressive dictator by many civilians, yet his life-long prison sentence came as a shock to many.
The shock was due in part by the lax verdicts of six other ex-police commanders, who were acquitted of their charges for killing protesters. Additionally, Mubarak's sons, Alaa and Gamal, had their corruption charges dropped, based on technical grounds.
Officials from the Torah prison where Mubarak was being held told The Associated Press Wednesday that the former president's health has entered a "dangerous" phase, as he has been suffering breathing problems, most likely due to shock, since Wednesday morning.
Mubarak, 84, reportedly had to use a breathing respirator on five separate occasions on Wednesday, according to authorities.
As Mubarak's health hangs in the balance, the country shifts into the preliminary stages of a democracy, holding its final vote for a president on June 16 and 17.
Additionally, Egypt's ruling military council has designated a 48-hour deadline for political parties to compose a 100-person panel to decide and draft a new constitution for the country, which has been on a roller coaster ride of instability since the Arab Spring uprisings of last year.