CAIRO: The Cairo Criminal Court Saturday adjourned to Jan. 10 the trial of activist Alaa Abd El Fattah and 24 other defendants being tried on charges of involvement in 2013 clashes outside the Shura Council, in order to listen to defense attorney Khaled Ali’s arguments.
The defendants are being tried on charges of violating the infamous 2013 Protest Law when they participated in a protest on Nov. 26, 2013 to object to the allowing of military trials for civilians in the then-being drafted Constitution.
Besides illegal protesting, the charges include causing riots, clashes and attacking security forces, including an attack against Col. Emad Tahoon and the theft of the officer’s communications radio.
During Saturday’s court session, defense attorney Taher Abou el-Nasr claimed prosecutors had sent a double message by releasing female participants in the 2013 protests, independent journalist Sharif Kouddous, who attended the hearing, tweeted.
Mona Seif, Abd El Fattah’s sister, was among the Shura Council protesters and said she and other founding members of the “No to Military Trials for Civilians” campaign organized the Nov. 26, 2013 demonstrations. “However, we are out and they are inside,” Seif wrote on her Twitter account during Saturday’s trial proceedings.
Seif was reported to have been released on the same day the Shura Council protesters were arrested.
The investigations conducted in the case in 2013 considered some of the protesters as “not serious” in their participation in the demonstration, and therefore they were released, according to Seif on her Facebook account.
Most of the prosecution witnesses referred to their previous statements in the case’s investigations, and some said they could not remember details of the year-old incident. Seif, who attended the Saturday hearings, said on her Facebook page Friday that none of the witnesses said they saw the robbery of Tahoon’s radio.
During the last hearing, which took place Dec. 21, the prosecution demanded the court hand the maximum penalty to the defendants for their alleged harming of the State’s security, and to feel “no compassion or mercy for the defendants’ youth,” because “Egypt does not need physical youth, but patriotic youth,” according to a video of the trial posted by Oxygen Misr Channel on YouTube.
The prosecution said the defendants intended to become violent against police forces and that Abd El Fattah initiated the call for the Shura Council protests on his Facebook page.