CAIRO - Former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak said it was too early to judge President Mohamed Morsi, saying the Islamist politician faced a difficult job, in comments billed as his first interview since his removal from power in 2011.
El-Watan newspaper said its journalist broke through security lines to speak to Mubarak on Saturday before his retrial on charges of complicity in the death of protesters killed in the popular uprising that swept him from office.
"He is a new president who is carrying out weighty missions for the first time, and we shouldn't judge him now," Mubarak said in the remarks published on Sunday.
El-Watan, which is fiercely critical of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, said its journalist spoke to Mubarak, 85, just before he entered the court.
Mubarak, who was president for almost 30 years, said he was saddened by what he described as the difficult conditions facing the poor and the Egyptian economy, which has been hammered by political instability that has frightened off tourists and investors.