One of the witnesses who testified against Hassan Mustafa, a procurement manager and renowned Alexandria based activist, reportedly has a criminal record. Mustafa is currently appealing a two year prison sentence.
Hamdy Khalaf, one of Mustafa’s lawyer and one of the witnesses in the case said he was suspicious of the witness’s testimony for several reasons.
The witness had testified against Mustafa. Mustafa’s lawyers had asked the court for a report on the witness’s criminal status. Khalaf says the witness has had several charges brought against him by the same prosecution district that prosecutor Ahmed Darwish works in. Mustafa was arrested on 21 January and sentenced for allegedly physically attacking Darwish.
Khalaf says the new developments will put question marks on the witness’s testimony. This development comes two days ahead of the next court hearing.
The first hearing in the appeal was held on 13 April. It was postponed to 4 May at the request of Mustafa’s lawyers in order to investigate the testimonies of eye-witnesses.
In the upcoming hearing, the rest of the witness’ testimonies will be heard and the new documents will be presented to the court.
Mustafa is a well known activist even before the 2011 Revolution. He was arrested in 2008 for supporting the Mahalla workers’ strike.
Protests in solidarity with Mustafa have been held both in Alexandria and Cairo.
In a statement on Thursday, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party said it denounces the “vindictive campaign the regime is carrying out against political and rights activists.”
In addition, the party criticised the way well known journalist and activist Ahmed Douma was detained. Douma’s trial for insulting President Mohamed Morsi starts next Sunday. The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights said in a statement on Thursday that it is very concerned about the decision to detain Douma for four days.
Douma’s wife said she does not even know where her husband was taken, the rights group’s statement read. The organization called for the cancellation of the article of insulting the president from the penal code as well as all punishments that limit freedom of publishing and freedom of expression.
The party said it holds Morsi responsible for the well being of the detainees and warned that “continuing to politicize the judiciary” will lead to chaos. The party called for the release of the detainees and dropping the “random” charges.