'Rabaa Operations Room' first retrial session on Feb. 8

Monday 04-01-2016 11:58 AM
'Rabaa Operations Room' first retrial session on Feb. 8

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie looks on from the defendants cage during his trial with other leaders of the group in a courtroom in Cairo December 11, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer


CAIRO, Jan 3 (Aswat Masriya) - The Cairo Court of Appeals set the date for the first retrial session of Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and 37 others in the case known as  "Rabaa Operations Room" on Feb. 8.

The retrial will be conducted under the jurisdiction of the Giza Criminal Court, presided over by Judge Moataz Khafagy, according to a court statement published on MENA news agency Sunday.

The Court of Cassation accepted the appeals on verdicts issued against 38 defendants in the case in December.

In April, the Cairo Criminal Court handed Badie and 13 others death sentences and 26 others received life imprisonment. The court was then presided over by Judge Nagy Shehata, who is well-known for handing down numerous death sentences in several terrorist-related cases.

Defendants are accused of running an "operations room ... to direct the Muslim Brotherhood group to resist the state during the Rabaa [Al-Adaweya] sit-in dispersal."

They were also accused of "spreading chaos" following Rabaa's dispersal and attempting to break into and set ablaze police stations, private property and churches.

The case includes 14 journalists and media workers, 13 of whom received life sentences, while one received the death penalty. Among them are board members of the Rassd  News Network Abdullah Al-Fakharany and Samhy Mostafa.

The sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adaweya was in support of elected Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi who was ousted by the military in July 2013 following protests against his rule. It was one of two large sit-ins which were violently dispersed by security forces leaving at least 1,000 people dead in what Human Rights Watch has described as "likely amounted to crimes against humanity".

The state's Forensic Authority, however, claimed that 627 were killed in the dispersal, while the National Council for Human Rights put the death toll at 632, including eight security personnel. 

Since Mursi's ouster, authorities have led a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood leaders and prominent figures, who have often found themselves behind bars or facing court cases with little due process.

Egypt listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation in December 2013 and insists it is behind the wave of militancy which has targeted security personnel since July 2013.

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