Infamous 'Zeitoun Cell' trial halted pending appeal on arrest orders

Ahram Online , Monday 18 Mar 2013

The 25 defendants are tried on charges of forming a terrorist group and committing an armed robbery on a jeweler's shop in Cairo in 2007

Egypt's Emergency State Security Criminal Court has halted trial in the "Zeitoun cell" case referring it to the general prosecution.

Twenty-five people were accused of adopting an armed jihadist ideology and committing an armed robbery at a jeweller's shop in Cairo's district of Zeiton in 2007.

Four Copts were killed and two others injured during the robbery.  

The case was returned to the prosecution in order to determine whether arrest warrants were legal.

State security prosecution accused the defendants of forming a terrorist group called "Regiment of Loyalty and Disavowal" (Sareyet Al-Walaa wa Al-Bara') that aimed to call for atonement of the ruler, revolting against him and changing the ruling regime by force.

The defendants were also accused of monitoring Egypt's oil pipelines and ship movements in the Suez Canal in order to plan attacks on ships.

In addition, prosecutors claimed defendants sought to disable the constitution and state institutions, assault the police and tourists, and attack citizens' personal freedoms.

The defendants' lawyers filed an appeal, submitting documents claiming that the decision to arrest the defendants was forged. The lawyers called for halting the trial and transferring the case from an exceptional court to the criminal court instead.

Meanwhile, the defendants remain in jail until the appeal procedures take place. 

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