The Cairo Criminal Court cancelled Tuesday the second trial session of a case that involves National Security police officers accused of torturing lawyer Kareem Hamdy to death.
Judge Osama Shahin, who is overseeing the trial, adjourned proceedings to Saturday, Osman confirmed.
According to the Lawyers’ Syndicate North Cairo representative, Mohamed Osman, the judge should set a new date for the trial. He stated that the trial was postponed due to a graduation celebration at the Police Academy, where the court holds the sessions.
Officers Omar Mahmoud and Mohamed Al-Anwar are facing charges of beating and torturing Hamdy to death inside the Matariya police station, state-owned news agency MENA reported. On 24 February, a Matariya hospital announced Hamdy’s death due to severe injuries.
Hamdy was allegedly accused of belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood and legally pursued in Egypt, as the officers hoped to obtain a confession from him after his arrest two days before the incident.
On 1 March, lawyers protested in Cairo and organised a mass rally to demand Hamdy’s retribution, mostly chanting against the Ministry of Interior.
The Egyptian authorities attempted to charge the lawyers with violating the Protest Law, by opening investigations in May on six lawyers. By June, increased hostility by the police against lawyers sparked nationwide anger.
On 6 June, the Lawyers’ Syndicate launched a general strike following a physical assault by a police officer on a lawyer inside a police station in Damietta.
It coincided with the two officers’ first trial session, which was attended by Lawyers’ Syndicate Head Sameh Ashour, despite the strike. Nonetheless, the two officers were released on bail.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a public apology to the lawyers, on behalf of the police and the Ministry of Interior. Osman told Daily News Egypt Tuesday that the case against the lawyers was closed, with all charges dropped.