Saturday 3 December 2016

Halawa trial in Egypt delayed for ninth time

Laura Larkin

Published 05/10/2015 | 02:30

Sisters Somaia and Omaima Halawa at the ‘Free Ibrahim Day’ event at the Spire on Connell Street, Dublin, last week on the 777th day of their brother Ibrahim’s incarceration in an Egyptian jail. Photo: Leah Farrell
Sisters Somaia and Omaima Halawa at the ‘Free Ibrahim Day’ event at the Spire on Connell Street, Dublin, last week on the 777th day of their brother Ibrahim’s incarceration in an Egyptian jail. Photo: Leah Farrell

Irish teenager Ibrahim Halawa is facing "groundhog day" in a Cairo court, Amnesty International has said.

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Mr Halawa's trial was postponed for the ninth time yesterday because two defendants were not in court, according to his family.

He is not due to appear before a judge again until December 15.

The 19-year-old from Firhouse in Dublin has been imprisoned for 780 days in an Egyptian jail following his arrest during the Al Fateh Mosque Siege in August 2013.

His sister Nusayba said the family are "very disappointed" at the latest delay in proceedings.

Her brother's lawyer had appealed for him to be released on bail because he has been imprisoned for more than two years.

"There is a law that some people say is active that says that you can apply for bail after two years," Ms Halawa explained.

"We're not in a good way because we had a big hope that he might be released on bail or at least that it would be postponed for a shorter time.

"We heard from the solicitor that they asked the judge to keep it to a short time and he said it can be a weekly hearing so we can finish the case quickly but he changed his words."

Her brother "could hardly stand", according to reports from family members at the trial. They said he signalled from behind the glass barrier where defendants are kept that this was due to a sore back.

He is standing trial alongside some 493 other defendants in a mass trial.

Last night, Colm O'Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said the Egyptian criminal justice system has "descended into farce".

"Today's [Sunday's] further delay prolongs the horrific 'groundhog day' Ibrahim and his family have been put through for over two years," he said.

Mr O'Gorman called on the Government to intervene.

Irish Independent

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