‘The case against him is very fishy,’ alleges his attorney
CAIRO: A group of El-Ghad (Tomorrow) Party supporters protested rowdily on Monday in front of the Benha Criminal Courthouse chanting, “Down, Down with Mubarak!
The protestors flocked from Cairo and Banha (a city in Qalyubiyya) to witness the ruling in the court case of El-Ghad party leader Ayman Barakat. The ruling however was postponed until next month, says Barakat’s attorney.
Barakat’s trial is not related to Ayman Nour’s – chairman of El-Ghad party who earlier last year was convicted of forging the applications required to declare his political party official. However, Barakat’s attorney Ihab El-Khouli claimed that the board member’s case was part of “a wave of aggression against El-Ghad party leaders and members.
Barakat, a lawyer himself, is accused of fraud concerning a defense case he handled two years ago. Barakat’s attorney says that his client is innocent and was arrested essentially because he is “an active participant in El-Ghad demonstrations and protests.
“The case against him is very fishy, alleges his attorney. “Even the way in which he was arrested is humiliating.
El-Khouli, like his fellow El-Ghad members, believes that such trials as Barakat and Nour’s mark difficult times ahead for the party. “We are in a state of constant oppression, criticism and attacks, says El-Khouli.
The lawyer claims that not only has the government pinpointed the leaders,but university student members of El-Ghad have also been harassed. “Even student members of El-Ghad are pursued and forced to resign from the party. The media is also making a fierce campaign against us, said El-Khouli.
The attorney called the struggle against members of El- Ghad “ferocious and deemed it a measure of how Egypt fears “real liberty and democracy.
The Barakat trial coincides with a press release that the Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary published Monday expressing their deep concern over the events preceding the trial of Ayman Nour, saying that the government procedures were meant to “direct the trial towards conviction before defense has completed its task.
“The court s decision to place Ayman Nour in custody is an incident that may indicate the court s premeditated tendency to convict Nour before defense has had the opportunity to present its case, reads the center’s statement.
Barakat’s trial was expected to foreshadow the final ruling on Nour’s case. Nour, meanwhile, has been maintaining a hunger strike for nine days in objection to his detainment three weeks prior to his final trial scheduled for December 24.