CAIRO: The Emergency State Security Criminal Court in Qena will resume on Saturday, the trial of the Nagaa Hammadi drive-by shooting, which left six Copts and a Muslim guard dead on Jan. 6.
The three main suspects in the case are Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Hassan (known as Hamam El-Kamouni), Qurashi Aboul Haggag and Hendawi Mohamed Sayed Hassan.
During the last hearing Bishop Kirollos, who heads the church in the area, gave his testimony in which he said he ended mass during that night at 11 pm as agreed upon by all the churches in the area due to the unrest during that time and threats received after a rape case in Farshout.
He denied any connection with El-Kamouni and said that he didn’t give him any money in the form of charity or anything else, which the defendant has previously claimed.
During investigations in the shootings, it was suggested that that the killings were a reaction to the case of Girgis Baroumi, a 22-year-old Copt accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in the town of Farshout.
The trial of the Nagaa Hammadi shootings was postponed several times, which led the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) — a religious freedom watchdog — to previously comment on the case. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” said USCIRF chair Leonard Leo, in a press statement.
“Is it possible for Coptic Orthodox Christians to get justice in the Egyptian court system?” he asked.
Leo pointed out that even though the Egyptian government initially decided to bring the Nagaa Hammadi case to trial quickly, no convictions have been made yet.
“Unfortunately, this only encourages further violence and is reminiscent of so many past trials where justice was never served,” he added.