Former Giza security chief’s defense team shows footage intended to exonerate, but potentially incriminating, client

The defense team for former Giza security chief, Osama al-Marasi, presented their arguments to the Cairo Criminal Court on Wednesday. Marasi, along with former President Mubarak, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, and five other security officials, faces charges of killing protesters during the 18-day uprising that forced Mubarak’s resignation last February.  

Marasi’s lawyers played video footage for the court showing that Marasi was outside on the streets of Giza during January and February of last year. They also showed footage of meetings he had with his subordinates during the uprising.

The footage showed Marasi touring the streets of Dokki and Mohandiseen in Giza after the controversial nationwide withdrawal of police forces.

“I know some police officers have gone too far,” Marasi is heard saying during one video clip, which prosecutors speculated was a response to a complaint someone off-camera made to him about police actions.

The chief prosecutor claimed that this remark serves as an implicit confession that the police had used excessive force against demonstrators during the 25 January revolution.

Other clips showed Marasi dealing with attempted prison escapes and talking to protesters in the streets. 

The defense team also showed footage of an attack on a police station in Giza. The defense attorneys narrated the clip, saying that the station’s investigations chief contacted a provost marshal, a military officer who is in charge of the police forces, for help, and an armored vehicle was sent to protect the station. However, security forces were still unable to regain control. The video showed the station being looted.

One of Marasi’s lawyers pointed out contradictions between the results of the investigation and the indictment, claiming there was no proof that their client was guilty of killing protesters or ordering the killing of protesters.

The defense team added that the number of protesters during the uprising outnumbered the number of security forces, saying that police officers did their best to handle the situation, and that some officers only fired their guns to frighten protesters so that they could secure public facilities.  

“Should police officers have left protesters to set fire to police stations and hence been accused of negligence? Or should they have protected public property, only to be charged with murder?” one lawyer asked.

At the close of their argument, the defense team asserted Marasi’s innocence and also requested that he be released on bail for the remainder of the trial.

The court, headed by Judge Ahmed Refaat, adjourned the trial to Thursday, when it will hear final defense arguments. On 20 February, the court will hear general comments by plaintiff and defense lawyers before setting a date for the final verdict.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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