CAIRO: The Cairo Criminal Court adjourned Wednesday the trial of Alaa Abdel Fattah and 25 other political activists, known in the media as the case of the Shura Council events, to September 10 to hear witnesses’ testimonials.
Wednesday’s trial session witnessed intensified media presence and attendance from political activists in solidarity with the accused, Youm7 reported.
The prosecution charged the defendants with gathering in crowds without permission from authorities, thus endangering public safety, and aiming to commit crimes against people and facilities and using violence.
Charges also include assaulting a police officer and stealing his radio, organizing an unlicensed protest in violation of the protest law, rioting, and blocking roads during events that took place last November when number of activists gathered to denounce the heavily criticized protest law in front of the Shura Council.
The court issued in June sentenced Abdel Fattah and other defendants, in absentia, to 15 years in prison and a 100,000 EGP fine (U.S. $14,000). Later the activists tried in absentia were arrested, except two, resulting in a retrial for the newly detained defendants and a continuation of the verdict for those still at large.
The defense team representing Abdel Fattah and the others objected the “glass cage” which holds the defendants during trial, saying it makes communication with the defendants difficult, according to Youm7. The defense said that there are exceptional measures in the court that will cause its invalidity, calling for the release of Abdel Fattah.
The Freedom for the Brave Facebook page said defense lawyer Taher Abu el-Nasr called for viewing Shura Council security tapes during the alleged attack on the police officer.
Additionally reporting by Ahmed Ismail.