'Deep concern' as Halawa's trial delayed for 13th time
Published 07/03/2016 | 02:30
The trial of an Irishman imprisoned in Egypt has been delayed for a 13th time.
The family of Ibrahim Halawa (20), who was arrested aged 17, have reported that the judge may make a decision on the case on June 26.
"The judge said that a decision will be made at the next hearing but as to whether he will be sentenced to death or life, we don't know," his sister Somaia told the Irish Independent.
"He hasn't considered any of the evidence or listened to the lawyers and this is the fair trial that the (Irish) Government are waiting on.
"I hope the next government puts Ibrahim as a priority and condemns what's happening to him," she added.
Mr Halawa is facing a number of serious charges, including murder, attempted murder and weapons possession alongside some 494 other defendants. He has denied all of the charges, which relate to a demonstration held in Cairo following the ousting of President Morsi by the Egyptian military.
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said the latest delay caused him "deep concern".
"I want to reassure Ibrahim's family of my own and the Government's continued commitment to achieving our two objectives: to secure his return to Ireland as soon as possible and to ensure his welfare during his detention," he said.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International Ireland's director Colm O'Gorman said the new delay showed the "farcical" nature of the proceedings Mr Halawa is facing.