The North Giza Criminal Court will issue its verdict regarding the fire in the electoral headquarters of former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq on 5 January 2014, as decided by the court on Sunday.
The court also decided to refrain from detaining prominent activists Alaa Abdel Fatah, Mona Seif, 6 April Youth Movement member Ahmed Abdallah and nine others charged with setting fire to the headquarters.
Abdel Fatah and his sister, Mona Seif, shared the court cage with former Prime Minister Atef Ebeid and former agriculture minister Youssef Wali, who are being tried for corruption regarding lands in Al-Bayadeya village, according to lawyer Mohamed Abdel Aziz.
Abdel Aziz said that claimant witnesses’ testimonies were conflicting, as one of them failed “even to describe what the headquarters looked like”.
The lawyer added that fellow lawyer and Abdel Fatah’s father, Ahmed Seif Abdel Fatah, told the judges that the case was re-opened by Tala’at Abdallah’s voided prosecution, thus the whole case is nullified.
The headquarters, located in Dokki, was burnt on 28 May 2012. Shafiq initially accused Abdel Fatah, his sister Mona Seif and ten others of starting the fire.
Shafiq later relinquished the lawsuit on 4 June 2012, saying in a press release that he will not be “a stick to hit revolutionaries” and that the Muslim Brotherhood fabricates charges against revolutionary activists, but investigations regarding the fire continued until the prosecution decided to close the case.
Former Prosecutor General, Tala’at Abdallah decided to re-open the case in May 2013, in a step that was described by Mahmoud Belal, a lawyer for the accused as “a Brotherhood action to settle accounts with the accused” During this time, Alaa Abdel Fatah was also accused of inciting violence around the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guidance headquarters, in what is known as the Mokattam Clashes on 8 March 2013.