Officer ‘falsified’ documents in Hizbullah cell case

The trial of 26 men accused of belonging to a Hizbullah cell resumed Sunday in a Supreme State Security Court.

Nasser el-Hafi, a lawyer for the defense, requested nullifying the investigations on the grounds that a state security officer had falsified documents.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Selim el-Awwa, head of the defense team, admitted that some of the suspects had trained Hizbullah elements in Egypt on how to carry out bombings on targets in Israel.

In July Attorney General Abdel Maguid Mahmoud referred 26 suspects to trial in the Supreme State Security Court, including 18 Egyptians, five Palestinians, two Lebanese citizens, and one Sudanese citizen. They were accused of spying for the Lebanese Shia group Hizbullah, and plotting attacks on the Suez Canal and tourist sites in Egypt. The men are being tried under the Emergency Law.

In court on Sunday the defense repeated previous statements of the 26 men’s innocence.

"Where’s the crime? You say that they had planned to commit the most brutal of crimes. But the prosecution hasn’t presented a single piece of evidence to confirm that," el-Hafi said. "Why should anyone be charged for renting an apartment on the Suez Canal? Does the law criminalize that? If so, then the thousands of citizens in Ismailia and Suez who live by the Canal should have been arrested!"

Essam Sultan, another lawyer for the defense, said the arrest and investigations were void because they were carried out under coercion and torture.

El-Hafi said the signature of the state security officer summoned by the court for testimony was different from the one contained in the investigation report.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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