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Lawyer denies reports that Hezbollah detainees were not tortured

CAIRO: The lawyer for some of the detainees held on suspicion of belonging to a Hezbollah cell denied Thursday newspaper reports claiming that no evidence of torture was found on the detainees. Newspapers had reported that the State Security Prosecutor Hisham Badawy referred the detainees to the forensic medicine department to ascertain if they had …


CAIRO: The lawyer for some of the detainees held on suspicion of belonging to a Hezbollah cell denied Thursday newspaper reports claiming that no evidence of torture was found on the detainees.

Newspapers had reported that the State Security Prosecutor Hisham Badawy referred the detainees to the forensic medicine department to ascertain if they had been tortured while being held in State Security locations.

According to media reports, the forensic medicine department determined that none of the detainees were tortured during their incarceration, a claim which lawyer Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud denied.

“This is not true. The first detainee was only referred to the examination yesterday (Wednesday), it will take weeks for the report to be finished, he told Daily News Egypt.

This was a charge the defense team leveled on the basis of testimony of one of the detainees, who since released has apparently become hemiplegic.

The detainee, Adel Ghareez, claims the detainees were left naked in an air-conditioned room for 24 hours, and that cold water was poured into their detention rooms.

The case has developed to encompass former members of the Muslim Brotherhood, as the State Security prosecutor’s office questioned a former member of the banned group, Nassar Gibril, who resides in Sinai.

However, the chief suspect in the case, Samy Hany Shihab, told the investigators that while he knew Gibril, he had never commissioned him to carry out any operation.

There had been reports that the case would be tried in a military or state security court but according to Abdel-Maqsoud, “Investigations are about to end, and the case will probably be referred to a regular court, as opposed to a military or state security one.

The detainees – accused of taking orders from Hezbollah to carry out operations on Egyptian soil – have now been moved from State Security locations to regular prisons.

Abdel-Maqsoud had filed a motion at the State Council Sunday against the Interior Minister Habib Al-Adly and the State Security Public Prosecutor for unlawful detention of the suspects.

In the motion Abdel-Maqsoud argued that the detainees were held in State Security headquarters for four months since their arrest last November until the case was announced to the public. The lawyer stated that this was an unlawful and unconstitutional location for the holding of suspects.

According to Abdel-Maqsoud, there are designated places to hold detainees for such periods of time stipulated under the first article of Law 396 of 1956, and State Security headquarters is not one of them.

President Hosni Mubarak sounded a warning in a speech for Sinai Liberation Day Thursday to regional powers attempting to threaten Egyptian national security, telling them to beware his anger.

“We will not permit the intervention of regional powers which are against peace and want to push the region to the brink . and pushes its agents into the area to threaten Egypt’s national security, he said.

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