CAIRO: The trial of three suspects in the fatal drive-by shooting of six Christians and one Muslim guard outside a church in Nagaa Hammadi was adjourned to May 16 when it will hear the testimonies of the victims’ families.
While the State Security Court did not disclose the reason it postponed the trial, lawyers attributed it to the replacement of two judicial members.
The court session was held Sunday under heavy security and was attended by the three accused, Mohamed Ahmed Hassan El-Kamuni, Qurashi Abol Haggag Mohamed Ali and Hendawy El-Sayed.
The three of them maintained that they were not involved in the shootings, with El-Sayed retracting his previous confession, claiming it was extracted under torture.
“The court refused to let any of the members of the victims’ defense committee attend the session, even though it allowed them to do so in previous sessions, Ihab Ramzy, member of the committee, told Daily News Egypt.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) said that two of its lawyers attended the session and reported that lawyers underwent “strict and meticulous searches before entering the courtroom.
“The court decided to adjourn the trial without explaining why, even though both the victims’ and suspects’ lawyers said they wanted to continue, Ishaq Ibrahim, EIPR lawyer, told Daily News Egypt.
“There are two explanations for the adjournment; the first and more logical of which is the replacement of the two judicial members, he continued, “the second is linked to the trial of the Christian boy accused of raping a Muslim girl [in Farshout].