Alaa Abdel Fattah (Photo: Ahram Archives)
The High State Security Prosecution charged prominent blogger and activist @alaa Abd El-Fattah with four new crimes on Monday. The charges included premeditated murder with the intention of committing an act of terror, regarding his alleged role in the Maspero clashes that left 26 dead and more than 300 injured on 9 October.
This brings the number of criminal charges that the activist/blogger has been facing since military prosecutors first accused him in late October of multiple offences in the events of Bloody Sunday up to 12.
Abd El-Fattah was initially accused by the military prosecution of theft of military arms, attacking military personnel, destroying military property and inciting violence against military personnel during the clashes, in which a number of activists and protesters died, some run over by military vehicles.
High State Security Prosecution, which is an exceptional prosecution body that functions under emergency law and does not accept appeals but only pardons from the head of state, took over jurisdiction in Abd El-Fattah’s case last week after the ruling military council, under pressure from mass protests in Tahrir, relinquished its right to investigate the Maspero clashes.
According to Shrouk newspaper which said it obtained details of the investigation session, prosecutors have now accused Abd El-Fattah of committing acts that have indirectly led to the death of an army soldier, Mohamed Sayed Shata, who was killed during the Maspero clashes.
However, activist Mona Seif, Alaa's sister, told friends in a tweet that she could not confirm whether the State prosecutors actually charged Alaa with murder.
Seif was not reachable Tuesday to comment.
Shrouk also reported that prosecutors questioned the two eye witnesses that military prosecutors initially used to argue that Abd El-Fattah incited riots and attacked army personnel.
Meanwhile, Abd El-Fattah, who had refused to talk to military prosecutors on the grounds that he is a civilian, answered state prosecutors’ questions, denied all charges, and pointed out what he described as grave discrepancies in the testimonies of the government’s main eyewitnesses.
Prosecutors have extended Abd El-Fattah’s detention by 15 more days, pending further questioning.