Mubarak regime bosses in the dock as Battle of the Camel trial opens

Ahram Online , Sunday 11 Sep 2011

High officials implicated in orchestrating the deadly February 2 attack on peaceful protesters in Tahrir known as the Battle of the Camel are charged with premeditated conspiracy to murder

Pro-government demonstrators, some riding camels and horses and armed with sticks, clash with anti-government demonstrators in Tahrir square, the center of anti-government demonstrations, in Cairo, Egypt Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. (Photo: AP)

The first session of the Battle of the Camel trial has started a short while ago at the court complex in New Cairo.

Judge Mustafa Hassan Abdullah presides over the session and will decide on the defendant's motions.

The prosecution accuses the 25 defendants of killing the protesters on 2 and 3 February Tahrir Square. They claim the defendants did this to show their loyalty to the former president Hosni Mubarak after his speech on 1 February, 2011 where he made concessions to the revolutionaries, but did not step down.

The 25 defendants have denied the charges completely.

Among the 25 defendants in the Battle of the Camel trial are former secretary of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP), Safwat El-Sherif; the former parliament speaker; the former minister of manpower Aisha Abdel-Hadi; former NDP parliamentary minister and businessman Mohamed Aboul Anin; parliamentary minister Ragab Hamida Halal and lawyer Mortada Mansour.

The only defendant that did not appear today is the trial lawyer, Ahmed Mortada Mansour.

There have been clashes between the supporters of Fathi Sorour and the families of the victims of the Battle of the Camel. There were also problems in entering the courtroom, due to the large number of lawyers and attendants and journalists.

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