CAIRO: The trial of a graphic novel author and publisher has again been adjourned until April 18 2009.
Magdy L. Shafee and Mohamed El-Sharqawy are being charged under article 178 of the Egyptian penal code which criminalizes the printing or distribution of publications which “infringe public decency .
The offence carries a maximum of two years imprisonment.
Lawyer Ahmed Ragheb told Daily News Egypt that the police officer who gave the order for the seizure of all copies of the graphic novel will give testimony during the next court session, as will expert witnesses called by the defense team.
Copies of “Metro published in early 2008 by the Malamih publishing house were seized by vice squad officers in April last year.
In a separate legal process, a challenge to the seizure order which removed all copies of Metro from sale outlets last April, was refused by the South Cairo Court on Saturday.
Ragheb told Daily News Egypt that defense lawyers will lodge an appeal within the next two days but said that he is “not optimistic about its chances.
“I m not very optimistic because not enough public support has been generated for the book which could influence the court. At the moment the judge is treating it as if it s pornography, Ragheb said.
“The judge hasn t even bothered to look at the novel. I had to give him a copy myself, he said.