Pro and anti-Mubarak lawyers got into fist fights inside the courtroom where former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is being tried, while outisde the two sides squared off as well.
The spectacle of seeing an Arab tyrant on trial has mesmerized the entire region and brought emotions about the dictator close to the surface.
Police had to break up a tussle inside the chamber between some of the scores of lawyers on hand, plaintiffs and supporters of Mubarak, toppled in a popular uprising in February and in hospital since April with heart problems and other ailments.
The 83-year-old Mubarak, who was wheeled on a gurney into a metal defendants' cage in the court, is the first Arab leader to stand trial in person since street unrest erupted across the Middle East earlier this year.
Judge Ahmed Refaat banned live television coverage of the trial in the Police Academy in Cairo after the first two sessions when Egyptians watched riveted as their former president lay behind bars.
The trial has stoked tension between those who brought Mubarak down after three decades in office and his supporters.
Inside the court, people present said a fight broke out when a Mubarak supporter lifted up a photo of the former president, angering relatives of victims of the uprising. Lawyers for plaintiffs also entered the fray.
It's hard to give someone a fair trial when the process was rigged by a dictator to make sure the defendent was found guilty. The new leaders in Egypt have yet to reform the courts - or anything else for that matter. This almost guarantees Mubarak being found guilty and probably executed.
Anything less and the Egyptian people would probably throw the new rulers out on their ear.