Douma vs. the judge, 11 months of mistrust

“The same people who praised us for our struggle just a few months ago are now accusing us,” wrote political activist Ahmed Douma in his memoirs from prison, which Al-Masry Al-Youm published on 30 April of last year.
He wrote this two months after the start of his trial in the case known as the “Council of Ministers Events”.
Judge Mohamed Nagy Shehata presided over the hearings, which saw the most rows exchanged between a judge and a defendant in recent years.
In the hearing session of 4 April,  Douma questioned the fairness of the trial because it was held at a military barrack, and because the guards beat him, which his defense requested to prove in a forensic report.
Douma also objected to the glass cage he was placed in. “I am not in the zoo to be placed in a cage,” he said. And he requested to speak with his lawyer whenever he wanted and not only when the court allowed. “This is a violation of the law.”
While viewing a video recording of the clashes in the hearing session of 20 August, Douma said it was obvious that it was the security forces that attacked the demonstrators, to which the judge replied: “Don’t cast false accusations.”
Douma was taken to the hearing session of 17 September in an ambulance because he was in a poor health condition from his hunger strike. His lawyer asked the court to switch off the air conditioners because it was too cold for his client.
Douma kept waving to the judge from inside the cage to allow him to speak. When the judge finally agreed, he said that he could no longer bear the cold. “I want a bed to lie down,” he said. “You violate human rights and the principles of the revolution that I embody. That is why I do not trust the court.”
He asked his lawyers to withdraw from the session if the court did not decline the case for another court to handle, which the court refused to do.
At the hearing of 24 September 2014, the court fined Douma LE1,000 for failing to officially file for changing the court as he had requested, saying he had passed the deadline.
At the hearing of 18 October, the judge asked Douma jokingly: “May we adjourn to go and pray or will the defense object to that?”
At the 4 November hearing, Dr. Hisham Abdel Hamid of the Forensic Department said Douma was in good health and did not suffer from any diseases.
At the hearing of 22 November, the lawyers withdrew from the session, claiming the court condescended them.
At the 9 September hearing session, Douma asked the judge if he had a Facebook account. “No, only the ilk of you have Facebook accounts,” the judge replied. “The greatest of people have Facebook accounts,” said Douma. “I am an ordinary man,” said the judge.
At the last session on Wednesday, Douma asked the court to acquit him for lack of evidence.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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