Egypt’s trial of democracy activists adjourned until April

An Egyptian court adjourned the trial of dozens of democracy activists including 16 Americans on Sunday at the opening session of a case that has threatened ties between Cairo and Washington and $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid.

Forty-three foreign and Egyptian non-profit workers – including the son of the U.S. transportation secretary – are accused of receiving illegal funds from abroad and carrying out political activities unrelated to their civil society work.

Judge Mahmud Mohamed Shukry adjourned the trial until April 26 at the end of the session in the rowdy chamber, where television reporters crowded around him and an interior ministry official threatened to expel journalists.

His decision could give more time for a diplomatic solution to the case, lawyers said.

“The time set allows for the NGO law to be amended and this could leave room for lawyers to argue that the defendants are not guilty. A fine may be demanded however,” said Khaled Suleiman, a lawyer acting against the defendants.

In the crowded courtroom on the outskirts of Cairo, lawyers who said they were volunteering in the case against the activists, demanded the defendants be imprisoned and accused them of “espionage”.

read more at             www.theglobeandmail.com

 

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Posted on February 26, 2012, in Egypt, United States and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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