Court Refers Lawyer in ‘Cabinet Clashes’ Trial to Prosecution

The Cairo Criminal Court referred on Wednesday a member of the defence team in the “cabinet clashes” trial to the prosecution for his “behaviour toward the judge”.

Jailed political activist and blogger Ahmed Douma is facing trial alongside 268 others for taking part in the “cabinet clashes” which occurred in December 2011.

Khaled Ali, defence team member and former presidential candidate, asked for recording in the session’s minutes that the judge was adopting a certain position toward the case prior to the session, said Osama al-Mahdy, another member of the defence team. The judge had turned down certain requests presented by Ali on Wednesday.

“Ali’s request to include the judge’s response in the minutes was a normal request,” Mahdy told Aswat Masriya. Ali was referred to the prosecution due to making this request.

Mahdy was also asked to pay a 50 Egyptian-pound fine for failing to carry out an order by the judge.

When Mahdy verbally presented his requests to the court on Wednesday, he said the judge asked them to present them in a memorandum. The lawyer refused, saying that the requests would already be recorded in the session’s minutes, prompting the judge to fine him.

The court postponed the trial until November 22.

The defence team has tried to refer the case to a different bench twice, citing the current bench’s “obstinacy” in meeting the defence team’s requests. Both attempts have failed.

The defendants are charged with illegal assembly, possession of bladed weapons and Molotov cocktails, assaulting army and police personnel and attacking governmental institutions in December 2011 during the “cabinet clashes”.

Douma, detained since December, started a hunger strike on August 28 to protest his imprisonment. He suspended it on September 30 due stomach and duodenum ulcers, his wife said.

Clashes broke out between protesters and security forces outside the cabinet headquarters in December 2011, leaving at least three people dead and 255 wounded.

Source : Aswat Masriya