Hezbollah cell detainees referred to criminal court, says report

Abdel-Rahman Hussein
2 Min Read

CAIRO: The defendants in the Hezbollah terror cell case have been referred to the criminal court to await trial, the state-run Al-Gomhuria newspaper reported Friday.

Lawyer for some of the defendants Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud told Daily News Egypt Monday that the trial was expected to begin this week

Investigations wrapped up and the trial is pending an announcement by Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud of the list of charges to be brought against the detainees.

Investigations were carried out by the State Security branch of the Ministry of Interior.

Forty-nine people, 22 of whom are in custody, are being charged with operating a cell in Egypt which was taking orders from Hezbollah.

Some had predicted that the detainees would be tried in a military tribunal but, according to Abdel-Maqsoud, the case would not be heard in a military court but in one of the State Security Emergency Courts.

Al-Gomhuria also claimed that before coming to Egypt the defendants had spent several months in Iran to undergo military training after having been in Syria to meet Hezbollah leaders.

It said that the defendants had met with a representative of the Palestinian Fatah group, known for its close ties with the Egyptian regime, unlike Hamas, which Egypt views with suspicion.

Torture allegations surfaced as the detainees spent over five months in the custody of State Security. One detainee, Adel Ghareez, alleged that he was tortured, which led State Security Prosecutor Hisham Badawy to order that all detainees be examined by a forensic team.

“The forensic team determined that there was no evidence that any of the detainees had been tortured, Abdel-Maqsoud said.

The case has caused a lot of aggravation and a war of words between Hezbollah and the Egyptian government, which has taken affront at the perceived temerity of the Lebanese Shia group. The state press has followed suit, constantly attacking the group and its leader Hassan Nasrallah.

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