Former Minister of Interior Habib El Adly
Essam El-Batawi, defence lawyer for former interior minister Habib El-Adly, said on Sunday that his client, along with ousted president Hosni Mubarak, had a legal and constitutional right to a fair trial. Both men currently face charges of ordering the killing of unarmed protesters during last year’s Tahrir Square uprising, during which 846 people were killed.
El-Batawi pointed to Article 67 of the Egyptian penal code, which stipulates that suspects are to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. The lawyer also slammed activists’ demands for “revolutionary trials” for Mubarak and his associates, stressing that the Egyptian constitution ensured that defendants receive fair trials governed by due legal process.
El-Batawi asserted that the ousted president and former minister “are not Louis XVI,” in reference to the deposed French monarch who was guillotined after being subject to a “revolutionary trial” by French revolutionaries.
On the events of the 28 January 2011 “Friday of Rage,” El-Batawi went on to point to “evidence” suggesting that foreign agents had infiltrated the protests with a view to encouraging attacks on police forces and promoting an atmosphere of chaos. The lawyer also said that security guards at a number of foreign embassies in Cairo had fired at protesters in an effort to protect themselves and their respective embassies.
Meanwhile, the friends and families of slain protesters who attended court proceedings on Sunday left the courtroom at one point to protest El-Batawi’s claims that they had forged forensic reports and other evidence implicating the defendants.