CAIRO — Disgraced Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak said Wednesday that he was innocent of ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising that ousted him, speaking at the start of an epic trial that could further rock Egypt’s turbulent transition to democracy.

Mubarak’s attorney suggested that Egypt’s interim ruler and its military chief, Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, was complicit in the crackdown on protesters during most of the 18-day uprising and said he intended to call him to the stand.

The first day of the ousted president’s trial transfixed Egyptians across the country as they watched a man who had previously commanded respect and fear lying on a hospital gurney inside a steel cage installed in a makeshift courtroom. It was also a moment that exposed the deep divisions among Egyptians on whether or not to try the autocrat of 30 years, who also faces graft charges, and publicly chastise him.

After the pleas were entered and the lawyers made their requests of the judges, the trial was adjourned until Aug. 15.

On Wednesday morning, nearly six months after he was forced from power, Mubarak pleaded not guilty in a tremulous voice.

“All of these charges I completely deny,” he said after the list was read.

His two sons, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, hovered over him, blocking the view of their father from cameras and the court. Gamal Mubarak twice kissed his father and frequently leaned in to confer with him as his brother stood erect, holding the Koran in his hand.

Mubarak is being tried alongside his sons, who are charged with corruption. They also denied culpability. Former interior minister Habib al-Adli is also being tried for allegedly ordering the killing of protesters.