CAIRO: The Cairo Criminal Court Monday resumed the retrial of the Shura Council case; noted activist Alaa Abd El Fattah and 24 others are on trial in the case on charges of illegally protesting outside the Shura Council in November of last year and violating the 2013 Protest Law.
The trial began Oct. 27 following the recusal of a previous judge panel in September. The next court hearing will take place Nov. 23. During Monday’s session, the prosecution presented to the judges a number of videos of the protests.
Abd El Fattah is accused of assaulting a police officer named Emad Tahoun on duty on that day and stealing his walkie talkie. No footage of the alleged crime was seen in the videos, in which Tahoun is seen standing in street clothes, according to prominent activist Nazly Hussein was reporting and tweeting from inside the court.
Hussein announced on her Twitter account last week that the judge would allow some people from the public from attending the hearings.
“Notes on the video: police officer insults woman, clothes being torn, security takes control, detention inside the Shura Council,” Hussein tweeted Monday about one of the videos displayed in court.
The Shura Council protests Nov. 26, 2013 were called for by Abd El Fattah to contest the passing of a constitutional article allowing civilians to face military trials if a conflict erupts between a citizen and a member of the military. The defendants in the case are also facing charges of brutality and assault on security forces.
The trial has been controversial because of its application of the 2013 Protest Law, and the June 11 sentencing of the suspects in absentia to 15 years in prison and a 100,000 EGP ($14,000) fine each.
On that day, Abd El Fattah and others were actually standing outside the court and were not called in, so the police arrested them, but they were still sentenced in absentia for not appearing in court. All of them are in custody after being detained Oct. 27 when they showed up to their court hearing.