Lawyer of prominent Egypt activist withdraws from court session

Ahram Online, Wednesday 3 Sep 2014

Ahmed Douma and 269 others' trial was postponed after Douma's defense lawyer withdrew from the session following an argument with the presiding judge

Political activist Ahmed Douma of the 6 April movement looks on behind bars in Cairo, December 22, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

The lawyer of prominent Egyptian activist on trial Ahmed Douma has withdrawn Wednesday from the court session in protest of the court's violation of due process, news website Aswat Masriya said.

The court had refused a request by the defense lawyers to meet Douma before the session, leading to a heated argument between the presiding judge and Douma's defense lawyer Osama El-Mahdi inside the courtroom.

The judge asked El-Mahdi to sit down but he refused, according to Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website. El-Mahdi told Al-Ahram that the court "undermined the defense."

The court then referred three defense lawyers including El-Mahdi to the general prosecution for investigations for "instigating chaos" inside the courtroom.

The trial of Douma and 269 others was adjourned to September 17.

The prosecution has charged the defendants with rioting, possession of weapons, using force against security forces, setting fire to Cairo's Scientific Institute and attacking other governmental installations including the headquarters of the Cabinet, the Parliament and the Shura Council during protests in December 2011.

Douma is also serving a three-year term in a different case with two other activists of April 6 movement – Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel – on charges of breaking a disputed protest law and attacking security forces.

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