“How could the president of the republic not be aware of the demonstrations that broke out on January 25th?”, chief prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman asked, according to AFP.

Mr Suleiman went on to argue that the then interior minister Habib el-Adly, who is also on trial, could “not have given the order to fire on demonstrators without having been instructed to do so by Mubarak.”

“If you had not issued these orders yourself, then where was your outburst of rage over the lives of your people?”, Mr Suleiman asked, addressing Mr Mubarak directly, AP reports.

Given the severity of the charges, seeking the death penalty was always a possibility, but many Egyptians will be shocked to hear the demand put so bluntly for the first time in the trial, the BBC’s Jon Leyne in Cairo reports.