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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid