Egypt ex-minister faints in sensational 'Battle of the Camel' trial session

Ahram Online, Saturday 12 May 2012

Former Minister of Manpower Aisha Abdel-Hadi passes out while in the defendant's cage during Saturday's court session in the 'Battle of the Camel' trial

Aisha Abdel-Hadi (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Former Minister of Manpower Aisha Abdel-Hadi passed out while in the defendant's cage during Saturday's court session of the Battle of the Camel trial. She was hospitalised and her condition is yet to be confirmed.

Abdel-Hadi, one of the defendants accused of instigating the notorious battle that took place 2 February in last year's 18-day uprising, fell to the ground before she was rushed to hospital.

In the same sensational session, Mohamed Oda, a former MP and one of the defendants, became emotional and shed tears while pleading with the judge, saying he has been detained for over a year pending trial while he is suffering from heart disease.

"There are defendants out there and the authorities do not have the power to arrest them," he shouted while weeping.

The Battle of the Camel saw thugs injure and kill hundreds of peaceful protesters in Tahrir Square, the focal point of the 25 January Revolution that overthrew former president Hosni Mubarak. One group wielding swords and cudgels and mounted on horses and camels stormed the square, while another group threw Molotov cocktails and shot protesters from high buildings.

Despite the casualties of that day, the revolutionary youth stood its ground, chasing off and even capturing some of thugs.

Several other Mubarak-era figures are caught up in the Battle of the Camel lawsuit, including former speaker of the People's Assembly Ahmed Fathi Sorour, former speaker of the Shura Council and secretary-general of the NDP Safwat El-Sherif, renowned lawyer Mortada Mansour and MP and former head of the Egyptian Federation of Trade Unions Hussein Megawer, who all entered not guilty pleas.

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