Sunday court roundup

CAIROSunday was full of important trials; courts acquitted some while others adjourned their decisions to a later date.

The Cairo Criminal Court adjourned the trial of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and 14 other codefendants who are accused of killing and inciting murder against protesters at Ithadeya presidential palace to June 23, according to Youm7.

The closed hearing at the Police Academy was postponed to resume hearing the prosecution’s witnesses while keeping the press ban.

Videos of protesters being beaten and interrogated by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in the vicinity of the palace went viral on social networking websites.

Morsi also stands trial in three other cases where he is charged with insulting the judiciary, escaping from Wadi al-Natroun prison during the January 25 Revolution and espionage for conspiring with foreign Islamist groups—including Hamas—to create chaos in Egypt.

The North Cairo Criminal Court adjourned the re-trial of former Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy and five of his associates in the Egypt-Israel gas case to August 23.

The defendants are accused of harming the country’s interests and squandering public funds by selling and exporting natural gas to Israel at below-market rates.

The Court of Cassation ordered on March 25, 2013 the retrial of Fahmy and five other associates in the case after a sentence of 15 years in jail was issued against the defendants and businessman Hussein Salem.

The 15-year sentence was issued in June 2012 for squandering public funds in a gas deal with Israel.

For Fahmy, his appeal of the verdict was accepted and the court ordered a retrial, while for Salem, he has not appealed and was sentenced in absentia.

The Cairo Criminal Court adjourned the trial of Adel Habara and 34 others for killing 25 security soldiers in the case publicly known as “The Second Rafah Massacre” until tomorrow.

The court ordered the appearance of prosecution witnesses who were supposed to give their testimonies today, but they did not attend the session. The witnesses include two police officers and two conscripts.

It also ordered a medical examination for defendants Mohamed Ibrahim Saad and Ahmed Mohamed Abdelallah after a request made by the defense team at the beginning of the session, Youm7 reported.

On Aug. 19, 27 conscripts were forced out of micro buses along the Rafah-Arish Road and were later found dead on the side of the road. Only two survived the attack, sustaining severe injuries.

Habara, arrested on Sept. 1, is suspected of leading an Al-Qaeda-linked group. He reportedly admitted to his involvement in the killing of soldiers. Habara has already been given the death sentence in absentia for killing soldiers in the Nile Delta last year.

In yet another case, the Cairo Criminal Court renewed the imprisonment of 242 people for 45 days pending investigations over their alleged MB involvement and violent events that took place at the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins on Aug. 14, 2013.

The court listened to the defendants’ defense team, who said the trial is politically motivated and the prosecution had no justification for the imprisonment, adding among the defendants are doctors, engineers and pharmacists.

The defendants declined to prove their attendance.

Azbakia Misdemeanor Court Sunday acquitted 64 defendants in the case known as the “Azbakia Events.”

The court accepted the appeal tendered by the 68 defendants on the court ruling of putting them in prison for two years and acquitted all of them except four students due to their absence, as they had exams and set a sentencing hearing on these four students for July 6.

The defendants were arrested over violent acts that took place on the third anniversary of the January 25 Revolution on Ramses Street.

The head of Cairo Appeals Court Sunday set Wednesday as the first session in the case of 12 defendants accused of sexually harassing women and girls in Tahrir Square in five separate cases on the day of the presidential inauguration, Youm7 reported.

Attorney General Hisham Barakat appealed the Minya Criminal Court mass death sentence issued Saturday against 183 defendants—including Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie—after reviewing the opinion of Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam in the cases of 683 defendants sentenced in the trial.

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