Verdict on ‘Hizbullah cell’ case postponed

The Supreme State Security Court decided yesterday to postpone its ruling on the "Hizbullah cell" case until 28 April. Meanwhile the defendants in the case continued to plead not guilty. The prosecution did not comment on defense lawyers’ claims regarding the "incredibility" of incidents narrated by state security agents.

The defense argued that the evidence submitted by the police was not enough to find the defendants guilty. The police conducting the investigation had claimed that the second suspect, Hassan el-Mankhali, hired a kiosk at Ras Shaytan, using it as a base to watch ships. Defense lawyers however said that the kiosk was several kilometers away from the sea, which made it hard for the suspect to carry out his alleged mission. This fact was substantiated by the prosecution’s examinations, said the defense.

The bench, headed by Counsel Adel Abdel Salam Gomaa, along with Counsel Mohamed Hammad, Osama Gamea, and Omar Farouq, prosecutor for state security, heard the four-hour pleading by the defense lawyers.

Mohamed Salim el-Awa, lawyer for the defense, said that the suspects had been training to support Palestinian resistance groups from Egypt, while Essam Sultan, another defense lawyer, challenged the validity of the evidence. Montasser el-Zayyat, also a defense lawyer, accused the police carrying out the investigations of having forced the defendants to confess to crimes they had not committed.

The team of lawyers agreed that the defendants were trying to support their Palestinian brothers, but asserted that there was never any plan to carry out a terrorist attack in Egypt.

The court allowed the defendants’ families to enter the room and talk to them, and at the end of the session the families cried out for justice.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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