ALEXANDRIA: The trial of a police colonel accused of brutality started Sunday at the Alexandria Criminal Court.
Akram Mohamed Suleiman, who is also head of the Juveniles Section in the Alexandria Security Directorate, swore from the dock that he was innocent of the physical assault of Ragai Sultan which led to permanent physical and neurological injury.
“I swear to God that I didn’t hurt him in any way. I’ve been wronged. I’m clean of all charges. My daughters can’t even go to the club anymore because of these charges against me, Suleiman shouted from the dock when asked to speak by the judge.
Sultan, who is in his late forties and suffers from learning disabilities, was arrested in July 2008 while walking on Alexandria’s corniche.
He was taken to a police station where he alleges he was severely beaten by Sultan.
Sultan spent three days in intensive care after the incident which took place on July 21 last year, suffering a broken rib and shoulder, and fracture in the neck and bleeding in the brain which necessitated surgery.
Sultan’s brother, Elhamy Sultan said that Sultan continues to suffer both physical and psychological problems a year after the incident.
“He has some complications since the incident, in his shoulder and the brain caused by trauma to the skull, Elhamy Sultan told Daily News Egypt.
“He also has nightmares and cries, he continued.
Ragai Sultan appeared visibly upset during the trial, becoming particularly agitated after Suleiman began speaking and had to be calmed down by his supporters.
During Sunday’s 20 minute session, Suleiman’s defense team requested that prosecution witnesses be summoned for cross-examination and Sultan was asked to confirm his identity.
The court also decided to summon the forensic doctor for cross-examination, and Sultan’s lawyers lodged a claim for civil compensation.
Al-Shorouk journalist Mostafa Fathy’s camera memory card was confiscated and destroyed by a member of security after he photographed Suleiman in the dock.
Suleiman’s lawyer Gamal Soweed said that he is confident his client will be found innocent.
He did not deny that the assault alleged by Sultan had taken place, but said that his client was not involved in it.
“One of the junior policemen tortured him. Suleiman himself was not present at the time of the incident. The charges are based solely on the fact that he’s the head of the police station .
Elhamy Sultan however pointed to the offer made by the police to pay his brother’s medical expenses, as well as the testimony of his brother. “In the beginning they tried to pay all the hospital expenses without acknowledging responsibility [for Ragai Sultan’s injuries]. At that time, I wasn’t sure that Ragai had been hit by them – I really thought it was an accident – until they began to offer money. I began to have doubts. I asked Ragai and he told me that he had been beaten in the police station, Sultan said.
“Ragai remembered that while he was being beaten someone said, “watch out Akram Bey, he will die Akram Bey’ . Akram did not respond. He just pushed the man away and said ‘don’t interfere’ .
The trial resumes on Oct. 12.