Adly’s lawyer to challenge verdict

Former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly's lawyer Essam Mohamed al-Batawy plans to appeal the life sentence the Cairo Criminal Court gave his client Saturday.

He plans to file a case with the Court of Cassation, a higher court that interprets the application of laws and considers lawsuits resulting from judges' decisions. 

Batawy told state-run news agency MENA that the grounds upon which the court based its verdict were reasons that should be used to acquit former President Hosni Mubarak and Adly.

He noted that presiding judge Ahmed Refaat spoke about events that occurred before the 25 January revolution and condemned the former regime while he was issuing the verdict. When he talked about the cases he was considering, he mentioned that he had no concrete evidence to convict the defendants, Batawy said.

Refaat said while issuing the ruling Saturday morning that the prosecution's case only proved Mubarak and Adly guilty of complicity in protester deaths and was insufficient to convict the other defendants and that prosecution witnesses had given contradictory testimony.  

The court said it did not depend on the testimony of prosecution eyewitnesses, that there was no physical evidence condemning the defendants and that it resorted to the testimony of other eyewitnesses from outside the list of evidence brought against the defendants, Batawy claimed.   

He pointed out that case was a criminal one based on facts and numbers and had nothing to do with the history of the former regime as it was not a political case.

Batawy said the court's decision to acquit some of the defendants while convicting Mubarak and Adly reflected a defect in the legal doctrine.

He said basing the conviction on Mubarak and Adly's failure to order an end to the killing of protesters was an error, because after 4 pm on 28 January 2011, the police had completely collapsed, so the defendants had no real authority through which they could stop the killings. 

The armed forces were deployed at that time to control the situation and provide security on orders from Mubarak himself, Batawy said, claiming this was the normal limit of what a president could do in such cases to protect citizens. He said the interior minister had neither a negative nor a positive role in this instance.

Adly could not have intervened to order the arrest of criminals who killed and targeted protesters due to the presence, the lawyer said. He alleged foreign elements were carrying out the crimes to make the police appear to be the perpetrators.   

Edited translation from MENA

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