Cairo (Islam Times) - After a session that lasted about one hour, which included the testimony of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the Cairo Criminal Court suddenly asked to postpone the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal and the former Minister of the Interior Habib Al-Adli, and 6 of his top aides until 30 October.
Islam Times: Although the Court had identified earlier the sessions of 24 and 25 September to listen to the testimony of Field Marshal Tantawi and Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant Sami Annan regarding the charges faced by former President and the other defendants for "the killing of demonstrators" during the events of the revolution on 25 January, they decided to delay after hearing the first testimony, without hearing the second witness.
As it was unclear whether the court will hear the testimony of Annan when it resumes the session next month, the Egypt news Website the belongs to the state television reported, quoting the Middle East News Agency that the decision to delay was "following a request from a number of lawyers for civil rights to suspend the court". However, the reasons that prompted the lawyers to make that request were not revealed.
According to the official news agency, one of the courts of appeal will be selected to consider the lawyers' request to suspend the court, stated that the defendant will take those measures no later than Monday. If the Appeal Court agreed to the request, the criminal court will be dismissed which considers the case headed by Judge Ahmed Refaat, and the case will be re-examined in another circle.
Tantawi had testified early in the morning on Saturday, in a closed session held under tight security. That is what why a number of lawyers for civil rights complained about the attempt to prevent them from attending the hearing, while others complained of clashes between lawyers and the security forces, in the time when the defendants were able to enter the courtroom.
Speculations were raised about the possibility of the absence of the President of the Military Council, who administers the affairs of the country following the departure of Mubarak in February 11, from the Saturday session. That was similar to what had happened in a previous session set by the court two weeks ago, because of "security conditions experienced by the country". For that, Tantawi issued a statement in response to the speculations in which he emphasized his intention to attend the hearing to testify.
He said "The basic principle is the appearance of the military men against the military justice exclusively" and he explained that the major military leadership has never been in civil cases before, pointing out that he decided to go to Civil Criminal Court to testify "as a confirmation of the rule of law, which must be constant and firm to the Egyptian state after the revolution of January 25, and especially that this issue is of particular importance".
Mubarak, Adli and his aides are accused of incitements to kill protesters during the revolution of January 25. Mubarak and his sons, and a fugitive businessman Salem, also face charges of financial corruption and waste of public money and facilitating the capture without legal justification. In the forefront of all that is the exporting of gas to Israel at a lower price than international prices and less than the price charged.
The Court decided earlier that all the meetings in which the senior military and security officials would testify should be "confidential". The only ones to be present are the defendant for the civil claimants and the counsel of the accused. In addition, there will be prohibition of publication of what is going on during those meetings in any way whether publishing, audio-visual, and whether domestic or foreign.