Hazem Abu Ismail to stand trial April 2 over court siege
Hazem Salah Abu Ismail - YOUM7/Maher Iskandar

CAIRO: Former presidential candidate and Salafi leader Hazem Salah Abu Ismail and 17 other defendants will stand trial April 2 for besieging Nasr City Court in 2012, Youm7 reported.

The defendants face charges of inciting the siege, using violence and threatening with prosecutors to forcing them to sign a release order for Ahmed Mohamed Arafa, a Salafi activist who belongs to Abu Ismail’s group of supporters, the “Hazemoun.” He had been arrested in possession of a rifle.

Hazemoun besieged several facilities during the one-year rule of President Mohamed Morsi, as Islamists deemed these facilities as anti-Morsi. Hazemoun activists besieged the Constitutional Court, which had dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament, as well as the Egyptian Media Production City, whose channels harshly criticized Morsi and the Brotherhood.

Abu Ismail, a hardliner who garnered massive support from Islamists after the January 25 Revolution in 2011, was sentenced to seven years in prison in April 2014 for concealing that his mother also held American citizenship. Egyptians with a parent who holds any other nationality than Egyptian may not run for presidency.

He was also sentenced for another year in prison for slander and libel, as he harshly criticized and threatened former Minister of Interior Ahmed Gamal el-Din and the police for being “selective.” The police had accused Hazemoun of attacking the headquarters of Wafd party.

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