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Published: Monday, 4/11/2011

Egypt's Mubarak speaks publicly for 1st time since being forced out

Hosni Mubarak Hosni Mubarak

CAIRO -- Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian autocrat forced from power by the throngs in Tahrir Square two months ago, spoke for the first time since then in an audiotape broadcast, denying he and his family had amassed wealth overseas and defending his honor and legacy.

The Al Arabiya satellite network, which obtained the five-minute tape, said it had been produced on Saturday after tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered again in Tahrir, Cairo's central square, demanding that the military council that replaced Mr. Mubarak speed up its investigation into his wealth.

That rally, the first of such magnitude in weeks, ended in the killing of two demonstrators by security forces.

The square was emptier but tense Sunday with trash, barbed wire, and the burned-out hulks of military vehicles. The military had not carried out its threat to clear out the demonstrators by force.

Mr. Mubarak, 82, and his wife and two sons have stayed at his weekend home in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, forbidden from leaving the country. The tone of his remarks was of a man stunned that his nation had ever come to think ill of him.

"I have been pained and am still in pain because of what I have been subjected to, my family and I, from unjust campaigns and false allegations aimed at hurting my reputation and questioning my integrity, stances, and military and political history, through which I have striven for the sake of Egypt and its sons in war and in peace," he said.

The 18-day protest at Tahrir Square in January and February ended in Mr. Mubarak being forced out after three decades of rule.

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