CAIRO - Egyptian opposition Ghad party leader Ayman Nur said on Monday before entering court for the latest hearing in his trial that he was on hunger strike to protest at his detention.
"I have been on hunger strike for 48 hours and I will continue until I die," Nur told reporters. "My detention is a form of terrorism, it's persecution."
Nur, who was the main opponent of President Hosni Mubarak in the September presidential election, awaits a verdict in his trial on charges of forgery, which he has always claimed were trumped up to undermine his political career.
The lawyers representing his six co-defendants were due to present their closing arguments on Monday and a verdict in the five-month-old trial was believed to be imminent.
Nur's supporters beat drums and chanted slogans of support for the politician outside the Cairo court.
In what Nur and many observers see as a hint about the nature of the sentence awaiting him, the opposition leader was ordered to be held in custody at the end of a hearing on December 5, the day of his 41st birthday.
His early detention drew condemnation from the United States and Human Rights Watch.
Nur stands accused of forging affidavits for the creation of his Ghad ('Tomorrow' in Arabic) party last year.