File Photo of Khaled Ali Lawyer of detained activist Ahmed Douma (Photo:Al-Ahram)
A Cairo criminal court has adjourned the trial of prominent activist Ahmed Douma and 286 others to 22 November and referred one of their lawyers Khaled Ali, a former 2012 presidential candidate, to prosecutors for questioning over "fomenting chaos in the courtroom."
A statement from Ali's office said he will present a complaint to the supreme judiciary council and the top prosecutor concerning what the judge's actions during the session. The statement said the judge had a prior bias concerning a case still being reviewed, did not hear the defence of the lawyers and rejected a number of their demands to include certain documents.
During Wednesday's session, Ali raised his voice at the judge overseeing the case, Mohamed Nagy Shehata, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported, accusing the judge of bias against the defendants.
Meanwhile, the defence team has asked to hear the testimony of Egypt's former de facto leader Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi and Major General Mohamed Al-Asar – both members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces at the time of the alleged offences
The defendants are accused of attacking the cabinet building and security personnel in December 2011, as well as torching the Scientific Institute in downtown Cairo during what is known in the media as the cabinet clashes.
On 16 December 2011, soldiers forcibly dispersed a three-week sit-in against military rule at the cabinet building. At least 18 were killed and hundreds injured in the violence which spanned five days.
Activist Ahmed Douma was sentenced in December 2013 to three years in jail, along with April 6 Youth Movement co-founders Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel, for breaking Egypt's protest law.
Ali, a labour lawyer, has defended many activists who have faced criminal charges since the 2011 revolution.