Cairo Criminal Court has found that videos presented by the prosecution in the Shura Council trial failed to prove that the defendants attacked a police officer and stole his radio.
The court further postponed the trial to 26 November to listen to eyewitness accounts, with the 25 other defendants to remain in prison until the next trial.
All 25 defendants, including activist Alaa Abdel Fatah, stand accused of violating the Protest Law, issued by then interim president Adly Mansour in November 2013. They also stand accused of “thuggery”, acquiring weapons during the protest, illegal assembly, blocking roads, and attacking a police officer and stealing his radio. Accordingly, they were sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison and to 5 years under surveillance thereafter, in addition to an EGP 100,000 fine.
After viewing videos showing protests in different locations in Cairo, the judges found some were not relevant to the case, according to defence lawyer Amr Imam.
Abdel Fatah was not shown in the video to be attacking a police officer or stealing his radio as claimed by the prosecution, with the judge in the case agreeing with this point, Imam said.
Khaled Ali, another lawyer working on the case, called for the release of the defendants. The judge, however, denied the request.
The trial has already dragged on for almost a year, as the defendants were arrested on 28 November 2013. Their arrest came following the protest against Article 198 of the constitution, which allows military trials for civilians under certain conditions. The activists described their protest, which took place in front of Shura Council on 26 November 2013, as “peaceful”.