Sudan calls off trial of detained Egyptian fishermen for trespassing its waters

Ahram Online , Thursday 23 Apr 2015

Earlier in April, 108 Egyptian fishermen were arrested in Sudanese waters with some being sentenced to jail time

Sudan's authorities have cancelled the trial of over one hundred Egyptian fishermen being detained in the coastal city of Port Sudan for trespassing its territorial waters, Egyptian fishing leaders have said.

Earlier in April, 108 Egyptian fishermen who were bound to Eritrea aboard three ships but were arrested near the port city over the allegation of encroaching into Sudanese waters. Seven of those-- six minors and an elderly, were later released.

A Sudanese court fined twenty-nine of the men LE 5,000 each and sentenced them to two years in jail in case of failure to pay, while the rest continued to face trial, Egypt's state news agency MENA said on Wednesday. A captain was fined LE10,000 and another was sentenced to six months over the same charges, the report added.

But provincial fishing officials in Egypt said Thursday that the Sudanese government has called off the trial.

"The lawyer in charge of the case said that they were informed during Thursday's hearing about a decision by the Sudanese justice minister to halt the trial," Ali Al-Geneidy, head of the Fishing Launches Association in Suez and the Red Sea told Ahram Arabic news website.

He said the move came in response to diplomatic efforts by Egyptian officials in the crisis.

Egypt's foreign ministry and the Egyptian envoy in Sudan had said they were following up on the matter.

Head of the fishermen's syndicate in Suez, Bakry Aboul Hassan, also confirmed in a statement the trial has been cancelled

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