After a three-month break, an Egyptian court resumed the trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday.
Mubarak, barred behind the court's defendant’s cage and lying on a hospital gurney, spoke only once during the hearing, answering “present” when Judge Ahmed Rifaat called out his name.
Wednesday’s session was short, lasting only around two hours.
Mubarak's next hearing is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 2, with daily proceedings expected to follow in hopes to speed up the trial.
In the midst of economic calamity, several outbursts of violence in the past few months, and an uncertain democratic future, many Egyptians fear that Mubarak may not face justice.
“This court is just big movie and the hero of this movie is Mubarak,” one protester outside the courthouse who lost his son in the 18-day Tahrir Square demonstrations told Al Jazeera news.
Another protester echoed similar sentiments.
"This is an army that killed demonstrators in Tahrir Square last week, so how do we trust them in bringing someone like Mubarak to justice?," the protester asked a reporter from The Los Angeles Times.
Nevertheless, some public support for Mubarak has not wavered. Some of Mubarak's most dedicated supporters have pointed to continued violence in Egypt as a signal that Mubarak was not behind the killing of hundreds of protesters.
Over 100 people having died in clashes in recent months between military and demonstrators and Coptic Christians.
Mubarak was ousted from his tight grip power in February following a 30-year reign of power in some of the most widely followed Arab Spring protests. He is currently facing charges of unlawful killing of over 800 protestors and corruption, and he could get the death penalty if convicted.
At his first trial in early August, Mubarak denied the charges against him, telling the court through a microphone, "I categorically deny all the charges."