Egypt's prosecution argues Alaa Abdel-Fattah and co-defendants not 'true revolutionaries'

Ahram Online , Saturday 20 Dec 2014

The trial was adjourned to 27 December for defence arguments

Security forces clash with protesters in front of the Shura Council
Security forces clash with protesters in front of the Shura Council, in downtown Cairo, Egypt, November 26, 2013 (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Egypt's prosecution argued on Saturday in the retrial of activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and 24 others on criminal charges stemming from a November 2013 protest that the defendants are "not true revolutionaries and seek the country's destruction".

The prosecution started its arguments by praising the 25 January 2011 uprising and the youth who led it but charged that the defendants in the case, many of whom took part in the uprising that toppled Mubarak, had a destructive agenda.

"True revolutionaries revolt to destroy corruption and then settle to build glory," the prosecutor charged.

On 26 November 2013, several hundred demonstrators gathered outside the Shura Council shortly after a law restricting protests was passed to urge the 50 member panel which wrote Egypt's constitution to vote against an article that allows for the military trials of civilians.

Police dispersed the protest using water cannons and tear gas before arresting the defendants.

The accused, including Alaa Abdel-Fattah, a leading activist in the 2011 uprising, were sentenced to 15 years in prison in June for violating the widely criticised protest law, assaulting a policeman, inciting riots, blocking traffic and vandalising public property.

The prosecution argued that the defendants had a premeditated intent to challenge the state and the protest law claiming Abdel-Fattah once tweeted that "if they pass the best protest law, we will still protest."

The prosecutor said Alaa attacked a police officer stealing his radio but Alaa denied these accusations.

The trial was adjourned to 27 December for the Judge to listen to the defence's arguments.

In the last two sessions, a number of prominent figures, including film director Khaled Youssef, who sat on the 50-member committee, and prominent TV anchor Reem Magued, who attended the protest, testified on behalf of the defendants.

"I witnessed tear gas being thrown by police forces, and I have also seen security forces arresting protestors," Magued told the court, countering police stories that protestors threw stones at security forces.

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