Egypt court rejects Mohamed Soltan's defence team's recusal request

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Monday 5 Jan 2015

Mohamed Soltan (Photo: Courtesy of Freedom for the Brave Facebook page)

A Cairo criminal court rejected a request by the defence team for Egyptian-American Mohamed Soltan, who has been on hunger strike for almost a year, to recuse itself from an ongoing case against him.

It was the first request of its kind at the trial of Soltan, who is charged with setting up an operation room during at the pro-Mohamed Morsi protest camp at Rabaa Al-Adawiya in July-August 2013. as part of plans to defy the state and "spread chaos," as well as plot attacks on police stations, private property and churches.

Fifty others are accused in the case, including Mohamed Badie, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood.

US diplomats attended Monday`s court session.

During the session, the court issued a guilty verdict against one of the defendants, a former spokesperson of the now-banned National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, Youssef Talaat, sentencing him to three years in prison and a fine of LE10,000 for insulting police personnel in the court.

The trial was then adjourned to 11 January.      

Soltan has lost more than half of his original body weight after over 340 days on hunger strike.

He was arrested in August 2013 following the violent dispersal of the Rabaa camp. His family claims that he was not involved in politics and had returned to Egypt to care for his sick mother.

His father, Saleh Soltan, a leading Islamic preacher and a member of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, was rounded up by authorities following a crackdown on the ousted president's allies and Islamist sympathisers.

Soltan's family has launched a campaign calling for his freedom.


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