The Port Said Criminal Court resumed Tuesday the trial session in the case of ‘the breaking into Al-Arab police station’, involving three Muslim Brotherhood leaders among 190 defendants.
The court has decided to continue its defence hearing between 23-25 March.
The session was held at the Police Institute of Tora in Cairo and the judge announced the court would be hearing the defence argument for 50 defendants.
The case includes former Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, former secretary-general of the Freedom and Justice Party Mohamed El-Beltagy and preacher Safwat Hegazy. At the beginning of the session, the prosecution presented to the court three CDs, claiming them as evidence of incitement to violence by the three Brotherhood figures.
The defendants’ lawyers have pled not guilty for 50 of the accused, but blamed Badie, El-Beltagy and Hegazy of inciting others to commit violent acts. The defence also claimed that prosecution investigations were flawed, in addition to arrests and search procedures of the defendants.
“Additionally, the Muslim Brotherhood is known for rejecting violence and has not been involved in any,” said one of the defence lawyers. “If they had, they would have stood up to defend the dispersal of Raba’a Al-Adaweya sit-in, or even fought President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s military coup,” he added.
The case dates back to 2013, when violent clashes erupted during a funeral march by pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters accused of storming Al-Arab police station in Port Said. In a violent conflict with security forces, tens of people died and hundreds were injured.
The defendants are facing charges of: breaking into the police station; attempts to murder police officers and steal their weapons; the attempted killings of civilians; attacking public property; and incitement to threaten public orders through a large public assembly.