Three military trials adjourned for final verdict

Sarah El Sirgany
3 Min Read

CAIRO: The military trial of 19 activists arrested in Cairo on June 28 and 29 was adjourned Monday to Aug. 17 where a final verdict is expected.

The trials of 13 protesters arrested in Alexandria on July 22 and of army officers arrested on April 8 in Tahrir were also adjourned to Aug. 22 for final verdict.

The June case was adjourned due to the absence of two defendants as a verdict cannot be issued in absentia unless defendants fail to attend after being summoned three times, lawyer Ahmed Heshmat told Daily News Egypt.

"The protesters are charged with using violence against public servants and hurling stones and bottles at security forces. Defendants are expected to be found innocent or receive suspended sentences," Heshmat, who is representing activist Loai Nagati, one of the defendants, added.

Nagati was released last month on health grounds.

The lawyer described the atmosphere at the court as hostile. Defense lawyers presented a memo against a soldier in military investigation who beat one of the defendants during the trial.

"One of the defendants suffered from spasms as the trial turned very tense, but we are still not sure if he had problems before or after being detained," Heshmat said.

Charges of sedition against army officers who participated in Tahrir protests on April 8 to speak out against the ruling military council were reportedly watered down to misconduct. The sentence for the latter is reportedly six months, according to activists.

Lawyers working on the case were unreachable by press time.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned in a statement released Sunday the continuation of military trials of civilians.

On the same day, the military prosecution released activist Asmaa Mahfouz on LE 20,000 bail pending further investigations into charges of inciting violence and defaming the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

"While the ousted president who shot his people is facing a fair trial before a civilian court, the revolution’s youth are facing quick, unfair military trials," the statement read.

"Seeing Mubarak and his associates in the dock should be a stronger motivation to achieve more justice and equality,” the statement added.


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