‘Rabaa Operation Room’ judge refuses to step down; trial adjourned to Jan 5
Judge Mohamed Nagy Shehata - YOUM7 (archives)
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CAIRO: The Cairo Criminal Court Saturday adjourned the “Rabaa Operation Room” trial in which 51 alleged Muslim Brotherhood members are being tried to Jan. 5, Youm7 reported.

The defendants—including MB Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, Mahmoud Ghezlan, Salah Sultan and Mohamed Sultan—are charged with establishing an operation room to confront the State and spread chaos following the dispersal of two Brotherhood sit-ins at Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square in August 2013.

During Saturday’s court session, defense lawyer Ahmed Helmy demanded Judge Mohamed Nagy Shehata step down from the case due to comments he allegedly made on Facebook showing his personal political opinions against the defendants, in addition to previous statements reported by local media including Al-Watan newspaper and Al-Mehwar TV channel in which he also espoused a strong political opinion against the MB.

A video published by Al-Ahram Sunday showed Helmy demanding Shehata step down, with the lawyer saying the judge lacks the “validity” to keep leading the case. “No, I will not step down whatever happens,” Shehata replied strongly.

Also Saturday, a representative from the American Embassy was present during the trial due to charges against Mohamed Sultan, a dual Egyptian-American citizen arrested in August 2013 following the dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya sit-in.

American President Barack Obama has previously demanded the court release Sultan, but Shehata refused, saying he felt the American leader was practicing “interference in judiciary issues.”

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