The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced five people to one year in prison and acquitted eight others Sunday, state newspaper Al-Ahram reported. They had been on trial regarding accusations of protesting, using violence and attacking public facilities in the district of Helwan in Cairo.
A ‘pause’ in trials occurred in the week before the New Suez Canal’s inauguration , after the Ministry of Interior decided to automatically postpone rather than bring any prisoners to trials during the internationally feted event.
Amongst those trials postponed included those of: the detained photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, also known as Shawkan, in his session on 3 August; as well as for the non-detained Al Jazeera journalists, who were to hear a verdict in their long trial process on 30 July, but which was twice postponed to 29 August.
Some trials resumed on Sunday, notably the continuation of former president Mohamed Morsi’s trial in the “Qatar espionage” case, which is being held at the Police Academy in Cairo.
Despite a ‘smooth’ inauguration ceremony for the New Suez Canal, the trial of 16 political prisoners accused of protesting in the district of Maadi during the 25 January Revolution’s fourth anniversary was further “adjourned due to the inability to bring prisoners to court for security reason”. Their next hearing will, as a result, take place on 8 October.
The Port Said Criminal Court held Sunday the re-trial of seven defendants in the 2012 stadium clashes that left 72 football fans dead. The defendants were sentenced in absentia to death and jail terms of 10 years, on charges of violence, with the verdict scheduled to be pronounced on 23 August.
Meanwhile, the Minya Criminal Court postponed to 11 October the re-trial of 345 defendants accused of breaking into the Matay police station and killing a senior police officer. Eleven of the defendants were released on health grounds upon their lawyers’ requests, state-run news agency MENA reported.
This case, one of the first controversial “mass death sentences trials”, witnessed 37 previous death sentences and 491 life imprisonment terms in April 2014.