As the trial of former interior minister Habib El-Adly was adjourned to Saturday, the American University in Cairo (AUC) issued denials that its employees bore any responsibility for the killing of anti-regime protesters in the early days of Egypt’s January 25 2011 Revolution.
“All AUC security guards are unarmed Egyptians,” the university declared in a statement on Thursday.
The statement came in response to claims by El-Adly’s defence lawyer, Mohamed El-Guindy – made during recent sessions of the ongoing trial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak – in which the lawyer asserted his client had not issued orders to kill unarmed protesters. Rather, he alleged, AUC security guards had been the ones who had killed activists in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
The lawyer also claimed that AUC officials had withheld video footage of the early days of the Tahrir Square uprising taken by the university’s security cameras. University officials, however, denied having footage of the protests, stressing that there were no cameras on its downtown campus, which is located adjacent to the flashpoint square.
El-Guindy went on to claim that an armed Qatari national and a Palestinian had both been arrested in Tahrir on 25 January – evidence, he said, that foreign agents had infiltrated the square and killed demonstrators.
El-Adly – along with six of his aides and Mubarak – is currently on trial for allegedly ordering security forces to open fire on unarmed demonstrators during last year’s 18-day uprising, which left more than 840 protesters dead and some 6,000 injured.