CAIRO: Media outlets are prohibited from publishing any information in the still-in-process Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis case until the trial date in March per a decision issued Friday by a Cairo court.
The first hearing in the case, in which more than 200 defendants are involved, is scheduled to be held on March 5. Until this date, nothing should be published/broadcast on the case in line with the law.
In the court’s decision, media outlets will be allowed to cover the first session.
In this case, the defendants are accused of terrorism-related charges for committing more than 51 attacks, assassinations and murder attempts against army and police ambushes, including an assassination attempt against Interior Ministery Mohamed Ibrahim in September 2013.
According to Youm7, the investigations with the defendants in the ABM case revealed detailed information about the ABM militant group, which flourishes in the Northern part of Sinai Peninsula.
The attacks the defendants are accused of took place in the wake of the June 30 incidents. The ABM militant group has escalated its targeting of army and police personnel since the ouster of the President Mohamed Morsi in July 3, 2013.
Since then, dozens of army and police soldiers were killed in attacks on ambushes, armed vehicle bombings and abductions by the ABM.
The ABM pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group (IS) in Iraq and Syria in November 2013, and refers to itself as “Wilayat Sinai” or “State of the Sinai.”
The Sinai-based group has also killed many civilians, mostly Bedouins, and released IS-style videos of their beheadings, after accusing them of acting as informants for the army or for alleged collaboration with Israel.
The prosecution has previously enacted publishing publishing bans in some other cases, including the murder of political activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh who was shot dead in a reportedly peaceful march in January 2015. Updates on the case fall under this restriction.
Another publishing ban was released when a Police Captain Ayman el-Desouki was kidnapped, and before the ABM group released a video of his abduction and execution.
In December, the prosecution issued a gag order after the release of an alleged leaked audio for high ranking officials discussing procedural flaws regarding Morsi’s initial detention after his ouster.
Additional reporting by Nourhan Magdi