Court to issue Mohamed Mahmoud clashes verdict on 15 December

Cairo Criminal Court will issue a verdict in the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes case on 15 December, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Saturday.

The decision on Saturday came two days ahead of the first anniversary of the clashes between protesters and security forces on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, which began on 19 November last year.

President Mohamed Morsy decided a few weeks ago to pardon all but one of the 379 defendants facing trial for violent incidents that took place during the 25 January revolution and the interim period under the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The pardon could force the judge to find almost all of the defendants not guilty of charges related to the clashes.

Prosecutors are accusing defendants of burning down real estate tax offices and setting fire to police cars, as well as injuring police officers and damaging the facade of the American University in Cairo’s downtown campus overlooking the street.

Activists say the clashes were the result of congestion among many demonstrators after Central Security Forces broke up a sit-in of the revolutionary martyrs’ families in adjoining Tahrir Square by force on 19 November 2011, leading to clashes with police that lasted for five days, killing over 40 people.

In a statement, prosecutors had said the amnesty decision covered all but one defendant, whom they alleged was in possession of narcotics.

The Constitutional Declaration, issued in March 2011, grants the president the right to issue a pardon for criminal defendants, which, according to legal experts, will give the court the right to acquit the defendants in that case.

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