News / Africa

    Key Egyptian Trial Postponed, Further Raising Tensions

    Egypt's former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, front, stands behind bars during his trial on charges relating to the killing of nearly 900 protesters during the 18-day uprising, Cairo, Egypt, July 25, 2011
    Egypt's former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, front, stands behind bars during his trial on charges relating to the killing of nearly 900 protesters during the 18-day uprising, Cairo, Egypt, July 25, 2011
    Al Pessin

    An Egyptian court has postponed the murder trial of the former interior minister, and ordered that the man be tried together with former President Hosni Mubarak. The move is likely to further inflame protesters in Tahrir Square, who are already dissatisfied with the pace of the trials, and other aspects of the ruling military council's policies.

    Related video clip: Egypt tensions

    A judge read the order live on nationwide television as many Egyptians tuned in to the broadcast of the highly-anticipated opening of the trial.  Some people in the courtroom shouted their disapproval of the postponement.

    The court order says former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly will be tried together with former President Mubarak.  That trial is scheduled to begin August 3, but many experts believe that, too, will be postponed.

    Former minister al-Adly has already been convicted of corruption and sentenced to 12 years in prison.  As he left the court Monday in a police convoy, protesters pelted the vehicles with stones.

    Both he and Mubarak are accused of murder for allegedly ordering the police to fire on demonstrators during the 18-day uprising in January and February, when hundreds of people were killed.

    Tarek El-Khouly, a spokesman for one of the leading activist groups, the April 6th Movement, accused the court of acting just like Egyptian courts did during the 30-year Mubarak era - taking its orders from the top, now the ruling military council.

    El-Khouly says the activists want to know the reasons for the postponement because such trials are crucial to the success of the revolution and the future of the country.  He called for al-Adly, Mubarak and other high-profile defendants to be treated just like all others accused of crimes.

    Still, just seeing the once powerful interior minister and six of his top aides in prison uniforms behind bars in the defendants’ box of a courtroom met one of the protesters’ demands.  They have called for open trials, and some have complained they have not seen key former officials since they were arrested.

    Mubarak had been under house arrest in his home in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, and has been in a hospital there since April.  There are indications his trial may be held in that relatively remote town, five hours drive from Cairo, rather than in the capital.

    Many observers speculate the Mubarak trial will be postponed due to his reportedly poor health, and also because Egypt’s current military rulers do not want to humiliate their former boss.

    In addition, the trial is scheduled to start during the Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan, when observant Muslims fast during daylight hours.  During Ramadan, relatively little work gets done, particularly when it falls during the hot summer months as it does this year.

    The delay of the al-Adly trial, and the possible delay of the Mubarak trial, will likely further anger activists, and could exacerbate the splits that are emerging among protest groups.

    An incident Saturday night, when protesters led by the April 6th movement were attacked by government supporters while policemen and soldiers stood by, resulted in harsh rhetoric from both sides, and sniping from some other activist groups.  One Islamist group accused April 6th of inciting the violence.

    The Egyptian Center for Human Rights called on the military council to be more responsive to protesters’ demands, and called on the various activist groups to stop trying to undermine each other.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora