Egypt’s fearsome ex-interior minister Habib el-Adly has been put on trial in Cairo, facing charges of corruption and instructing his officers to use deadly violence against protesters last month who demonstrated against the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Adly, who arrested a few days after Mubarak stepped down, has denied the charges. His bank accounts were frozen and he was hit with a travel ban last month.

It didn't happen, he said, referring to allegations of laundering money and illegally acquiring public money.

According to Agence France Presse (AFP), Adly wore white prison clothes and spoke in a calm voice. Heavy security surrounded the trail with army tanks stationed outside the courthouse.

Protesters rallied outside the building to demand that the death penalty be imposed on Adly. The people want the execution of the murderer, the group chanted.

After Adly’s not guilty plea was announced, protesters outside became enraged and fought with security guards who were deployed to permit Adly to safely exit the courthouse.

The state security apparatus under Adly has been widely accused of committing a vast array of human rights abuses, including illegal detentions, torture and murder.

The hearing has been adjourned until April 2 after defense attorneys requested more time to study court papers.