- Associated Press - Sunday, June 10, 2012

CAIRO (AP) — Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is slipping in and out of consciousness eight days after he was sent to prison to begin serving a life sentence, a security official said on Sunday.

With rumors of the ousted president’s death spreading rapidly, authorities granted his wife, former first lady SuzanneMubarak, and the couple’s two daughters-in-law special permission to visit him in Cairo’s Torah Prison early Sunday morning.

“The former president’s health is in decline, but now it’s stable in its deteriorated state,” the official said. Since his wife’s visit, Mubarak has suffered from an irregular heartbeat and required assistance in breathing.

The official told the Associated Press that the former president now lives only on liquids and yogurt. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Mubarak‘s health is reported to have collapsed since his June 2 conviction for failing to stop the killing of protesters during the uprising that overthrew him in 2011. His life sentence saw him transferred immediately to a prison hospital instead of the military hospital and other facilities where he had been held since his April 2011 arrest.

Authorities have turned down several requests by Mubarak‘s family to transfer him back to a military facility, the official said.

On Saturday, Mubarak‘s wife was denied access to the intensive care unit where he was placed, as authorities limit family visitations to one a month.

According to security officials quoted by the al-Masry al-Youm daily, Mrs. Mubarak lashed out at wardens for not giving her husband permission to seek treatment outside the prison. “You will be responsible for his death,” she allegedly said.

Mubarak‘s two sons, Alaa and Gamal, are also being held. They were acquitted on June 2 of corruption charges but still face separate charges of insider trading.

On Saturday, Egypt’s state run news agency, MENA, quoted officials as saying that Mubarak is at risk of stroke, quoting a medical team’s report.

Other media reports said that his lawyer Farid al-Deeb informed him that he will soon be transferred back to a military facility in the Cairo suburb of Maadi.

In his last public appearance on June 2, the bedridden Mubarak sat stoned-faced in the courtroom cage. However, officials said that he broke into tears when he learned that he would be transferred to Torah Prison. It took officials hours to persuade Mubarak to leave the helicopter that ferried him from the courthouse to the prison.

Media reports quoted Mubarak at the time as saying the military council who took over after his ouster had deceived him.

Egypt has sold me. They want me to die here,” he reportedly said.

The verdict sparked a new wave of protests by tens of thousands of Egyptians who allege the verdict was determined by political pressure from the country’s military rulers, doing a favor for their former president.

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