CAIRO: Cairo Criminal Court adjourned Tuesday the trial of twenty defendants, including four detained Al-Jazeera English reporters, to May 3 in a case known in the Egyptian media as the “Marriott trial.”
The 20 defendants are facing accusations of spreading false news, belonging to a “terrorist group” and fabricating footage that harms national security.
The court displayed videos taken from CDs that included scenes of dead bodies in the aftermath of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda sit-in dispersals. The CDs also contained videos of people raising the Rabaa al-Adaweya sign, warriors in Syria carrying weapons, pictures of Said Qotb, a photo of one of the defendants raising the Rabaa sign and the nephew of the same defendant also raising the Rabaa sign.
The defense team said the videos have nothing that condemns the defendants and the voices present are unclear and need to be cleared out by a sound engineer. The prosecution accused the defendants of joining a group that was established against the law, preventing state institutions from carrying out their duties, violating citizens’ privacy, targeting public institutions, and endangering society’s public welfare.
Defendants wrote on their t-shirts “empty stomach war,” referring to the open hunger strikes they entered.
The first trial was held on Feb. 20, in the presence of foreign representatives, including the General Consulates of the Netherlands, Canada, United Kingdom, United States, and a delegation from the European Union, along with family members of the suspects.