Wednesday, January 29, 2014

One of the defendants in Morsi´s ´jailbreak´ trial was dead in 2011, another in jail

The trial against the former Egyptian president for charges that they conspired with Hamas and the Lebanese group Hezbollah to help escape more than 20,000 inmates from three Egyptian prisons during the early days of the January 2011 popular uprising, opened Tuesday in Cairo. Among the 131 defendants in the trial, 70 are Palestinians being tried in absentia, some of them alleged Hamas members.
Prosecutors said that over 800 fighters from Gaza had infiltrated Egypt and stormed the prisons with RPGs and heavy armaments, killing several policemen and inmates. Four policemen were reported kidnapped in the attacks. The defendants face charges of damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, murder and attempted murder, as well as looting prison weapons while allowing prisoners from "Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah, and the Brotherhood" as well as other "jihadists" and "criminals" break out of the jails.
Morsi and the 130 co-defendants are also accused of "carrying out a plot to bring down the Egyptian state and its institutions."

The trial was postponed, after a short session, till 22 February. The accusations lost some credibility after it aspired that one of the accused Palestinians was killed several years prior to 2011 and that another one was in an Israeli prison at the time the revolution in Egypt started. Shady El-Sanea, whose brother Hossam was one of the Palestinian defendants in the trial, expressed shock with the accusations levelled against his brother, as his brother was killed six years ago, on the first day of the Gaza war in 2008. His mother added that her son was never a member of Hamas and had never visited Egypt. Another Palestinian defendant, Hassan Salama, appeard to have been in an Israeli prison in Januari 2011, according to the Palestinian Information Centre PIC, a press agency in Gaza.
The Hamas movement meanwhile denied allegations made by Egyptian prosecutors during Tuesday's trial, that the movement had helped Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood members escape from prison during the January 2011 uprising. Hamas condemned the accusations as being absurd and politicised. “All of these allegations are nothing but lies,” read the press statement issued by the group on Tuesday. The movemenet demanded an end to incitement and asked to “stop exporting the Egyptian internal crisis to Gaza and Palestinians. It serves no one but the interest of the Zionist occupation, the main enemy of Egypt and Palestine."
After Morsi's ouster last July a campaign has been going on in Egypt  to accuse Hamas of having orchestrated unrest in Egypt, particularly in the restive Sinai Peninsula, which shares a border with the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is based. Hamas has frequently distanced itself from the current unrest in Egypt, affirming that it has never interfered in internal Egyptian matters.

No comments: