- May 2, 2007
- 14 minutes read
Ikhwanweb’s Coverage of the April 26th MB Military Trial Session
Ikhwanweb attended the first military trial session against Muslim Brotherhood (MB) deputy chairman Khairat Al-Shater along with other 33 MB leaders in custody. The following is a report of the farce that took place inside the court room which was a mockery of justice by all means.
First Session of Al Shater”s Military Trial Kicks Off
–Defendants Defended Themselves, Cornered Military Prosecution
–Grave violations committed by the military prosecution nullifying measures of referring them to military trial .. military prosecution accused of concealing Interior Ministry”s scandalous violations.
–Military prosecutor admits there is no financial report for money laundry charges more than 4 months after starting the case.
–Riddle of the “Arrest Warrant” that angered the chief justice and made him end the session suddenly .
The Supreme Military Tribunal held its first sessions last Thursday, April, 26, to hear case no. 2 of the year 2007 known as the group of eng. Khairat Al Shater, 39 other businessmen, university professors and professionals.
The trial session, held in Huckstepp military to which the media was denied access, was full of many surprises that the defendants revealed in front of the court.
The session started several minutes before 1.00PM in a big stage related to the military base; it was the same place that witnessed military courts against the Muslim Brotherhood in 1995.
No lawyers attended, protesting at not informing them of the date of the session; the defendants defended themselves and the court gave every one of them the chance to talk in an attempt to absorb the floods of anger and bitterness out of the grave violations committed by the State Security Police and the military prosecution since case started to be heard; every defendant gave a short profile about himself and his demands that focused on rejecting referring civilians to military justice, nullifying the lawsuit look and releasing all defendants; they called also for not involving the military institution in any political disagreements with the ruling party.
Military Prosecution Covers Interior Ministry”s Scandalous Measures
The session was fiery from the very beginning; the chief justice asked the defendants whether they were informed of the decision of referring them to the court, the responded with accusing the military prosecution of rushing them to trial to cover the Interior Ministry”s grave violations; what happened last Tuesday, April 24, 2007, confirm this; 11 defendants happened, including engineer Khairat Al Shater were acquitted after the court overturned the appeal lodged by the Interior Minister; this meant that the Interior Ministry must release them and implement the final court ruling; however, the Interior Ministry resorted to a silly trick by asking the acquitted group to prepare themselves to go to the military prosecution; after they got out of prison for half hour which they spent inside the prison trucks, they were returned back to prison, and at 11.00PM the 32 defendants were informed that the first session of their military court will be held on Thursday morning, given that that day Wednesday was an official holiday inside and outside prison; this meant that it was impossible for the defendants to contact their lawyer or families to inform them of the date of the trial.
The defendant continued their attack against the military prosecution and said that the decision of referring them the military court is void and null because the military prosecutor committed grave mistakes in the measures: he did not investigate with any one of them; half of them have never appeared before the military prosecution while the other half appeared before it only to see his detention prolonged and faced no investigations; this means that the military prosecutor has based his attitude according to the memo of investigations fabricated by the State Security Police and he sided to it without having any single evidence against any defendant. The defendants pointed out that Cairo Criminal court considered the State Security Police”s memo as void and null and it issued three rulings of releasing the defendants, giving no weight to these groundless accusations.
Also, most defendants refused to speak in front of the Higher State Security Prosecution that heard the case before referring it to the Military Court; how has the military prosecutor concluded that it was proved that the defendant committed the actions they are charged of committing?
The defendants pointed out that the military prosecution treated them unjustly since the very beginning; it refused, throughout 3 months, to give permits to their lawyers to visit them in prison and to arrange the documents of the case, in violation to the defendant”s right; some of them demanded enabling him to sign an attorney to complete some of his affairs outside prison, but the military prosecution did not enable him to do so. Add to this that when some of the defendants appealed against jailing them, they appeared, to their surprise, before the same district court that ordered them released!!
Money Laundry Committee”s Report Not Prepared Yet !!!
Although the military prosecutor accused twenty one defendants of illegal money laundry and eight others of being accomplices in committing money laundry crimes; however, the military prosecution acknowledged in front of the court that the money laundry committee report hasn”t been presented to the military prosecution; this is actually a farce in the case; this is because any money laundry charge is based on suspicion that defines a specific place, time and behavior ; if the suspicions are true the money laundry unit at the central bank shall be notified to probe into the case and prepare a report about it; if its report shows that the suspicion is serious, it will be referred to the public prosecution which summons the defendant and gives him the chance to defend himself and present the documents that support his situation.
But what law states what the state security prosecution does are completely divorced; the defendants were charged, their companies were shut down and their documents were taken without allowing them to defend themselves.
The defendants accused the military prosecution of fabricating the report to support its viewpoint to be consistent with the fabricated accusations mentioned in the State Security Police memo.
Waiting for Administrative, Constitutional Court Rulings
There other violations committed by the military prosecution; a surprise was undisclosed at the end of the session; before this; the defendants demanded overturning the lawsuit and waiting for two important rulings that will have decisive effects on the case: the first ruling from the Constitutional Court regarding the unconstitutionality of the president”s decision of referring civilians to Military Courts; engineer Khairat Al Shater and others filed this appeal in 1995 ( when he was referred then to the military justice); he filed a new lawsuit to the Administrative Court of suspending the decision of referring them till the Constitutional Court hears the case and issues a ruling.
As for the second ruling, it is a conflict of competence between the civil justice and the military justice because the money laundry case is heard by two courts, one is civil and the second is military.
The court must suspend hearing this case for all these reasons.
The Riddle of Arrest Warrants
The biggest surprise was the suspicious behavior of the military prosecution when more than one defendant said that it is illegal to bring the eleven persons who were released from detention to the court from jail; this because they are released and should be informed from their places of residence of the date of the trial; the military prosecution doesn”t have the power to jail them after the Criminal Court acquittal unless the prosecution summons them and directs a new charge against them. More than one defendant insisted demanding seeing the arrest warrants and their date and place; an unidentified person who was attending the trial session got out seemingly to solve this problem; he seemingly gave the court a photocopy of an arrest warrant and the chief justice said: ” We have now a photocopy of the arrest warrant”; when the defendants demanded repeatedly to see it to check its date ( to compare this with the time in which they got out of prison) and demanded to see the arrest reports which are registered after arresting defendants, the chief justice tried to solve this problem and rescuing the military prosecution through adjourning the session till next June, 3rd; he said that he adjourned it at the request of the defendants although they didn”t demand this, but they demanded nullifying hearing the lawsuit in front of the Military Court due to the above mentioned reasons.
This last behavior of the chief justice added to the owes of the defendants and their families; they chanted slogans and supplications due to the feelings of injustice.
On Sidelines of the Session:
– Although the chief justice said that the session is open and public, the media outlets were denied access; many TV channels, correspondents and journalists arrived in front of the court since the early morning, but they were denied access.
– The military police prevented women from entering the courtroom except after repeated calls and demands and after the session was about to be wrapped up.
-The defendants performed the prayers of the noon and afternoon collectively inside the iron cages at the left of the stage.
– In an attempt to ease tensions, the military police gave the defendants tea and biscuit, but most of them were fasting.
– 6 persons are tried n the case in absentia, most of them are outside Egypt since long years and one of them holds a Syrian nationality.
– Hassan Zalat didn”t appear in the trial because he is in Kasr Alainy hospital to which he was moved after having a heart attack in Torah farm prison.