• MB News
  • April 28, 2007
  • 4 minutes read

Military Trial For MB Leaders Adjourned Till June 3rd

Military Trial For MB Leaders Adjourned Till June 3rd

Under heavy secrecy and in absence of the media and defense lawyers, a military judge ordered today the case of 33 MB leaders to be adjourned till June 3rd. Security was tightened inside and around the court complex in the Hykstep area, 50 Km east of Cairo. Police officers prevented media personnel from entering the court room which triggered altercations with security guards. A handful of family members were allowed in after turning in their cell phones and cameras and waiting for five hours when the court was half way through.

Defense lawyers boycotted the court session protesting the failure of the court to inform them of the trial date and time. Abdel Moneum Abdel Maksoud, lead attorney for the defense, stated that they found out yesterday about today”s court session through their clients” family members who just happened to bring them food when prison officials told them not to show up the next day because the defendants will be in court!

Zahra el Shater, one of the family members, complained to Ikhwanweb of the bad treatment by court guards and State Security officers who were present throughout the court procedure although the case is now under military jurisdiction. Zahra added that family members were not allowed inside the court room till 1:00 PM although they showed up at 8:00 AM and court was in session since 9:00 AM.

The military trials for the 33 reformists began today despite two prior court rulings acquitting them of all charges of money laundry and terrorism brought against them by the government. The first ruling came in January which was then followed by President Mubarak”s decision using his authority as military ruler under emergency law to refer them to military tribunals. The government appealed the civilian court ruling but was rejected on April 25th which prompted the government to proceed with the military trials in order to circumvent the court order to immediately release all 33 defendants.

DC & Chicago protests planned against Egypt“s HR abuses

The government actions were widely criticized by human rights organizations in Egypt and abroad and led to several demonstrations. On Friday April 27th, the Muslim American Society, the largest grassroots Islamic movement in the US, along several interfaith and human rights activists are organizing a rally and a conference in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Washington DC to protest the Egyptian government unabated assault on opposition leaders and political opponents. The protestors will also voice their outrage at the government”s decision to try civilians before military tribunals. Ikhwanweb will cover the DC activities.