The trial of prominent Salafi preacher and former presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail was postponed on Monday until 5 April, reported state-run newspaper Al-Ahram.
The trial is being held at the High Court and will be presided by chairman of the Cairo Criminal Court Mohamed Mahmoud. It was postponed to “re-announce” the defendant.
Abu Ismail is being charged with the libel and defamation of police officers after a clip circulating on the internet showed Abu Ismail saying that “the police need to be overhauled”. He is also facing the same charges after allegedly referring to them as “dogs” and “scum” on 30 December. The complaint was filed by the officers who were the alleged victims of the assault.
Abu Ismail is also charged with forging official documents during his application to run for president. Election Law No. 174, drafted in 2005 and amended in 2012, stipulates that both parents for any presidential candidate must hold Egyptian nationality. Abu Ismail was accused of lying about the nationality of his mother, who allegedly holds American citizenship. The leader of Al-Rayah Party is facing charges regarding presenting documents forging his mother’s nationality. The trial was postponed during the last court session from 19 December to 20 January.