Chaos at student blogger trial, judge adjourns session

Alexandra Sandels
2 Min Read

CAIRO: The trial of blogger Kareem Amer, a former Al-Azhar University student who is currently standing trial for his controversial writings on Islam and President Hosni Mubarak, was adjourned for the second time on Thursday due to a verbal tussle between the prosecution and the defense.

The trial has been postponed until Feb. 22 when Amer’s final sentence will be given in an Alexandrian court.

According to sources in the court who asked not to be identified, a team of Islamist lawyers submitted a complaint to the judge arguing that Amer is ‘a disbeliever’. The defense reportedly countered by threatening the lawyers with defamation.

The Islamic lawyers also allegedly harassed and used foul language against Amer’s legal advisors in court, eyewitnesses from the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, said.

“The trial turned so chaotic to the point where the judge decided not to hear arguments presented by either the prosecution or the defense, since the two sides were about to get into a physical fight, Dalia Ziada, human rights activist and employee at the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, told The Daily Star Egypt.

The case has recently received a large amount of attention from the international community.

Two protests in support of Amer were held yesterday at the Egyptian embassies in New York and Guatemala City, where activists holding banners and signs called for the immediate release of Amer.

Accused of ‘defaming the Islamic faith’ and ‘posing a threat to national security’, Amer faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted, according to his lawyers Ahmed Saif.

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