Lawyers in Mubarak case complain of “worthless” videos supplied by Egyptian intelligence

Video evidence provided by Egypt's General Intelligence Directorate (GID) during the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak has been described as "worthless," failing to show any of the events under scrutiny in the trial, or indeed cover the correct period of time, according to prosecution lawyers.

On Sunday, video evidence provided by the GID was screened in court, and was expected to provide further evidence for the prosecution case against the former president, who is accused of involvement in killing protesters during the 25 January revolution. Mubarak, his sons Alaa and Gamal, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six of his aides are being tried on charges of illegally killing protesters.

However, lawyers representing the families of the dead said the videos provided by the GID did not contain any scenes showing policemen assaulting protesters, despite the expectation that the intelligence services would have access to such footage.

The court saw six videos containing fuzzy scenes of protesters and other footage not connected to the revolution. Footage from 1 February through to 3 February showed people in civilian attire on the roofs of buildings, with no policemen in view. Other videos showed scenes from Tahrir  Square and Abdel Monem Riad Square.

Some videos showed pictures of the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx.

One of the videos dated back to January 1996 and showed several tourists entering the Egyptian Museum.

The plaintiffs' lawyers decided to withdraw from the courtroom and filed a report with the head of the court, seeking an investigation into whoever was responsible for editing the videos.

They said the General Intelligence Directorate has submitted "worthless" videos.

The lawyers also said they had asked for videos covering the period from the outbreak of the revolution on 25 January to 31 January. The videos provided covered February, they said.

Among the videos supplied on Sunday was one showing the "Battle of the Camel." Lawyers hoped that it might provide evidence of assaults on protesters in Tahrir Square. However, the footage failed to show any scenes featuring the killing of protesters.

The General Intelligence Directorate is Egypt's foreign intelligence service, and was headed by Omar Suleiman from 1992 until his departure from office during the Egyptian uprising in January and Feburary of this year. Suleiman was appointed as vice president of Egypt in the days immediately before Hosni Mubarak's departure in February, but has since been considered retired from public office.

Since the uprising, Suleiman has been asked to give evidence in ongoing investigations into the killing of protesters during the revolution. According to one report in the state-run Al-Akhbar newspaper, Suleiman gave secret testimony implicating Mubarak in the illegal killings.

More recently, Suleiman was called to give testimony before the judge in the Mubarak trial, and did so during a secret session on 13 September. The court issued a gag order banning any media reports on the testimony given.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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