Former minister of interior trial delay angers victims’ families, pleases legal experts

Lina El-Wardani , Sherif Tarek , Monday 25 Jul 2011

The postponement of El-Adly’s trial until 3 August sparks anger from martyrs’ families, but the decision to prosecute him alongside Mubarak is seen by many as a ‎tangible step towards justice

Infuriated people hurled rocks at armored vehicles transporting the defendants after the session (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Cairo’s criminal court delayed until 3 August the trial of former minister of ‎‎interior Habib El-Adly, accused of ‎‎‎ordering the killing of peaceful protesters ‎during ‎the January 25 Revolution.

The postponement was met by anger from ‎the martyrs’ families, although the verdict to prosecute him alongside ex-president Hosni Mubarak was regarded as a ‎tangible step towards justice.‎

Mubarak, who ‎‎faces similar charges, was previously set to be tried in a separate trial but now all defendants indicted ‎on charges of murdering demonstrators -- including the ex-president and El-Adly -- will stand trial at the same time.

The supreme judge announced the postponement of the trial ‎on Monday morning.‎

“El-Adly’s trial and Mubarak’s are related to each ‎‎other, so they will both be tried on 3 August,” he stated from the podium in an unprecedented televised session.‎

Upon hearing the judge’s decision, one protester who was shot in the stomach during the revolution ‎‎approached the defendants’ cell and spat on El-Adly. ‎

He was badly beaten up by security personnel and kicked ‎out of the courtroom, according to Ahram Online ‎reporter Lina El-Wardani who attended the session.‎

The gathering was followed by protests from martyrs’ families calling for ‎retribution, which took place amid stepped-up security. Vehicles transporting the defendants were stoned, in what has become a recurrent scene. ‎

Outside the courthouse people gathered to chant pro-justice slogans and decry the decision to delay El-Adly’s ‎‎trial for the fourth time. ‎

Commenting on having El-Adly and other defendants stand trial alongside Mubarak, lawyer Ahmed Fawzy told Ahram ‎Online: “It’s a good move for sure, there was no reason to try Mubarak separately.‎

‎“But other people should have been put in the same trial as well; Omar Suleiman should be among the defendants as ‎he was appointed vice president during the January 25 Revolution. ‎

‎“Mahmoud Wagdi, who was installed as interior minister after the sacking of El-Adly, should be prosecuted too as the ‎killing was still going on under his rule. ‎

‎“But overall it’s a good step. Airing the trial for the first time also added credibility. Personally, I had my doubts that El-‎Adly would appear in the courtroom.”‎

On 2 July, El-Adly was sentenced to five years in prison for squandering public funds in the ‎‎infamous car plates case. ‎‎He ‎was given a 12-year sentence in May on ‎‎corruption charges.‎

If he is found guilty of ordering the killing of demonstrators, El-Adly may face the ‎‎death penalty.‎



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