On Saturday, the Cairo Criminal Court, headed by Judge Hassan Farid, handed more than 700 defendants involved in the Rabaa dispersal case one-year prison sentences with labour for insulting the judicial system, lawyer Karim Abdelrady, who is following the case, told Daily News Egypt.
The initial case of all the defendants has been postponed to 21 March, Abdelrady clarified.
After the recent sentence, a huge number of the defendants are now facing a new case for chanting inside the court cage, claiming that the session is invalid. This was seen by the judicial panel as a violation of the court system.
The outburst of the defendants, allegedly belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, came after their defence team requested the court to view CDs and a flash memory as documents that would benefit them in the case, but the panel rejected.
The panel responded to the request saying that the technical committee will review them and will forward reports to the panel later; however, the lawyer continued insisting on their request, which led the judicial panel to refer them to disciplinary court, the lawyer explained.
Photojournalist Mahmoud Abo Zaid, who completed over three years in pre-trial detention, and a further 19 defendants are not among those who received the aforementioned sentence, as they only saw the case’s postponement, he added. This came after their lawyers urged that their defendants did not chant, since they don’t have CDs.
Among the defendants are top members of the outlawed brotherhood, such as its supreme guide, Mohamed Badie; its vice-chairperson, Essam El-Erian; brotherhood politician Mohamed El-Beltagy; and others.
A number of defendants in the case were granted medical release.
All the defendants are facing charges of vandalism, attempted murder, planning an armed insurrection, and belonging to an outlawed group.
This case started following the Rabaa Al-Adaweyya sit-in in 2013 that was violently dispersed by security forces. It was held in opposition to the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi by the armed forces.