Victims lawyers accuse Mubarak's vice-president of planning Battle of the Camel

Ahram Online, Saturday 8 Oct 2011

Victims’ lawyers demand that Mubarak's chief spy Omar Suleiman get onto the defendants’ roster, accusing him of taking part in planning bloody attacks on Tahrir rebels on 2 February

camel battle
The Battle of the Camel incidents that took place between 1 and 2 February in Tahrir Square (Photo:Reuters)

As the Battle of the Camel trial resumed on Saturday, victims’ lawyers demanded that former chief spy Omar Suleiman and ex-interior minister Mahmoud Wagdi stand trial along with other Mubarak officials in the case.

Twenty-five people are accused of instigating the notorious attack on peaceful protesters ‎on 2 - 3 February, in an attempt to nip the popular uprising against now ousted president Mubarak in the bud.

Between one group of men on horses and camels wielding swords and cudgels, and another ‎throwing Molotov cocktails and sniping from elevated vantage points, hundreds of violent attackers ‎killed and injured hundreds of peaceful protesters.

Both Suleiman and Wagdi served in Mubarak's government during these two of the bloodiest days in the history of the January 25th revolution, but have not until now been formally accused by anyone to have taken part in orchestrating the Battle of the Camel attacks.

Suleiman served as the vice-president in the last days of Hosni Mubarak’s tenure, and is the man who announced to the world that the 83 year-old dictator called it quits.

Wagdi, meanwhile, served as minister of interior from late January 2011 (when Mubarak ditched his long-time police chief El-Adly who is now on trial with Mubarak in a separate protesters' murder case) till late February 2012 when then newly appointed prime minister Essam Sharaf fired him under popular pressure for his direct connection to the dictator's last cabinet.

However, Saturday, lawyers for those injured and killed in Tahrir square during the camel attacks have formally accused both Suleiman and Wagdi of being accomplices in planning the attacks on peaceful protesters, and want the court to name them as defendants along with Mubarak officials already standing trial in the case.

Former speaker of the Popular Assembly, Mohamed Fathi Serour, speaker of the Shura Council (Upper House), Safwat El-Sherif, along with the president's chief of staff, and Zakaria Azmi, are all currently standing trial for conspiring to murder protesters.

The lawyers also requested the testimonies of Chief of Staff Sami Anan, journalist Mostafa Bekri, former minister of information Anas El-Fekki, the former secretary general of the now-defunct National Democratic Party, Hossam Badrawi, and ex-health minister Sameh Farid.  

Meanwhile, security forces clashed with some journalists and lawyers while trying to prevent them from getting into the courtroom earlier Saturday.

The Battle of the Camel trial was televised in its first couple of sessions before the judge decided to ban TV coverage.

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