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Case of Egyptian activist Hassan Mostafa postponed to 18 May

Court hears defence witnesses while prosecution witnesses are absent; case adjourned to give prosecution time

Ahram Online, Saturday 4 May 2013
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An Alexandria misdemeanour appeal court has adjourned the case of political activist Hassan Mostafa to 18 May in order to hear prosecution witnesses.

The 30-year-old marketing manager appealed a two-year prison sentence he received in March for assaulting a justice ministry official.  

El-Mansheya misdemeanour appeal court listened to defence witnesses Saturday while no prosecution witness showed up.

On 13 April, a group of lawyers who volunteered to defend Mostafa submitted appeal requests to the judge, but the case was postponed to 4 May as the plaintiff, prosecutor Ahmed Darwish, who accused Mostafa of assaulting him, did not attend the session.

Supporters of the activist staged a protest at the Mansheya Court Complex in central Alexandria Saturday calling for his release and protesting efforts to "suppress activists."

Mostafa's trial sessions, however, are held in Borg El-Arab court, about 60 kilometres away from the city centre, for security reasons.

Mostafa was arrested 21 January after attempting to file a complaint with the Alexandrian prosecutor general about the absence of lawyers for dozens of detainees arrested on 20 January during protests.

Mostafa was charged with physically attacking and verbally abusing prosecutor Darwish while attempting to file his complaint.

According to activist Mahinour El-Masry, an eyewitness to Mostafa's arrest and a member of the campaign to free him, the charges are fabricated.

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