Al-Galaa Military Court in Ismailia postponed Sinai-based journalist Muhamed Sabry’s trial for the eighth time on Sunday. The court was due to issue a verdict in the postponed session.
“The judge postponed the trial without giving any reason whatsoever. This is the second time they postponed what was supposed to be a verdict session,” Sabry told Daily News Egypt.
He added that the court did not request any additional documents, time to review evidence or reports, or request anything from the defence team to justify a postponement.
“I’m frankly getting tired of this. I have been to over nine military trial sessions so far and the case is not moving forward. They confiscated my camera since this trial began so I have not been able to do any work,” he said.
Sabry, a Sinai-based activist and freelance photojournalist, is standing trial for “entering a prohibited military zone and filming a military facility” in January.
He was reporting on soldiers killed in August near the border city of Rafah when he was arrested. The military prosecution immediately referred him to a military misdemeanour court. He was released on 9 January but continues to stand trial.
“I do not know why they keep postponing but I think it is because they want to give themselves a chance to find a good reason if they intend to find me guilty,” said Sabry.
He added that since several lawyers from human rights organisations joined his defence team, his defence was able to close all loopholes and demonstrate his innocent.
In addition to the media coverage of his case, he believes this means that the military court would struggle to convict him and therefore needs more time to think their verdict through.
Article 198 of the new constitution allows for military trials for civilians in special circumstances “as regulated by the law”. Over 12,000 civilians have faced military trials since the January 2011 uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.
The next session of Sabry’s trial is scheduled for 24 March.
Follow Ahmed Aboul Enein on Twitter @aaboulenein