Court imprisons 53 defendants over ‘Cabinet Incidents’ case

Cairo Criminal Court convicted 53 defendants Tuesday and cleared 92 others over various charges of violence and damages to public and private properties in the case now popularly known as the ‘Cabinet Incidents.’

The court sentenced 43 defendants to lifetime imprisonment, nine others to 10 years each, and one to 5 years.

The verdicts concern 145, out of 269, defendants, who have been granted a retrial after being tried in absentia. All defendants were convicted by the court in February 2015.

During the first trial the court sentenced activist Ahmed Doma, and 228 others, for lifetime in prison while sentencing 40 of the accused to 10 years in prison each. All the defendants were fined LE17 million for damages during the incidents.

The total number of defendants in the case are 293, 24 of whom are juveniles and were referred to Juvenile Court.

The Cabinet Incidents started on 16 December 2011, when a number of political activists and youth of the revolution declared a sit-in outside the Cabinet in protest of the appointment of Kamal al-Ganzouri as Prime Minister. It turned into a bloody clash that killed 18 people and injured 1917.

The military forces dispersed the sit-in. Ganzouri served as prime minister during the Mubarak era and had been appointed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), thus protesters demanded that the SCAF immediately transfer power to a civilian body.

The defendants were accused of resisting authority, arson, theft, breaking into and damaging government buildings and institutions, damaging private and public property, hindering the work of public facilities and possessing bladed weapons and Molotov cocktails.

Other defendants were accused of possessing and taking drugs, practicing medicine without a license, attempting to break into the Interior Ministry to burn it, damaging and burning vehicles of the Health Ministry and the General Authority for Roads, Bridges and Land Transport as well as private cars on a street close to the cabinet headquarters.

The Institut d’Egypte, the cabinet headquarters, the People’s Assembly and Shura Council and the General Authority for Roads, Bridges and Land Transport building were attacked, stormed and partly burned, according to the indictment.

Edited Translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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