The trial of protesters accused of attacking security forces in the Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes resumed Saturday, only to be postponed until 17 November when a list of all the detainees expected to receive amnesty is submitted by the public prosecutor.
“We requested that the defendants be acquitted right away based on the law [President Mohamed] Morsy issued,” defence lawyer Amr Imam said, “but the request was turned down.”
President Morsy issued a law Monday granting amnesty to all those held or imprisoned for committing crimes or felonies in support of the revolution. The names of all those expected to be granted amnesty will be revealed through a list prepared by the public and military prosecutors.
Imam clarified that Egyptian law states that the court can apply the law it deems fit for the defendant, which the defence drew upon to demand the acquittal of the defendants.
The defence requested the trial be postponed until the list of detainees granted amnesty is released, to which the court assented.
The 379 defendants on trial are accused of assaulting policemen in the line of duty.
“There’s no proof available that the defendants have committed this crime,” defence lawyer Mahmoud Belal said. If the defendants, all revolutionary youth, were involved in any clashes which occurred, it was merely a means of self-defence against police attacks, he said. “They were killing them, thus they had the right to defend themselves.”
Both Belal and Imam expect all the defendants of the Mohamed Mahmoud case to receive amnesty.
“If defending the families of the victims from the attacks of the security officials is not an act in support of the revolution, then what is?” Belal asked. That the court assented to postpone the trial implies that it also expects the detainees to be granted amnesty, he said.
“In my view, the whole thing will go smoothly,” Imam said, referring to the granting of amnesty. “It’s just the process that’s taking so much time.”
The first session of trial was held on 17 July. The defendants are currently on bail.
The defendants are being tried for their involvement in the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes on 19 November. The clashes started when a sit-in of families of the January 2011 revolution’s victims was attacked by security forces near Tahrir Square.
Serious clashes between protesters and the police left dozens of protesters killed and more injured. Most of the clashes, which continued until 24 November, occurred in Mohamed Mahmoud street, near Tahrir square.