CAIRO: A decision by Egypt’s Cabinet to refer civilians to State Security Emergency Court instead of military trials is cosmetic, lawyer Maha Ma’moun from the Front to Defend Egypt’s Protesters told Daily News Egypt.
"State Security Emergency Court is an exceptional court. Maybe its investigations are more thorough than those in military courts, but verdicts are still issued quickly, and appeals take time to investigate," Ma’moun said on Wednesday.
The Cabinet said in a statement Wednesday that some cases of thuggery, blocking roads and transportation, terrorism, arms and drug dealing and public property vandalism will be referred to State Security Emergency Courts.
The Cabinet said the decision was to allow citizens to be tried before civilian judges instead of being referred to military courts.
"We cannot even consider this as a step forward because we already have two cases since last February where the defendants were referred to these courts, including Maspero protesters and those involved in Imbaba clashes," Ma’moun said.
"A step forward means the complete ending of military trials in military and exceptional courts and referring those who were tried in these courts to normal civil courts," she added.
Head of Military Judiciary said earlier that nearly 12,000 civilians were tried in military courts since the army was deployed on the streets on Jan. 28.