- Life Style
The "Battle of the Camel" trial has been adjourned until December 19. During a recess in today's hearing, the court received an order from the Appeals Court regarding Mortada Mansour's request to remove the presiding judge, so the court adjourned the trial to consider it.
More witnesses testified today on behalf of the defendants, who number 25, including one who recently died.
The defendants, all affiliates of the toppled regime of former President Hosni Mubarak, are accused of plotting an attack on horse and camelback on 2 February against pro-democracy protesters during the 18-day uprising that began on 25 January.
Before the court went into recess at around 1 pm, five witnesses testified. The first two admitted their support for defendant Youssef Khattab, a former MP.
The third witness, Faragany Saleh, said that on 2 February he saw Khattab first in the Nazlit al-Siman neighborhood, then later in Mostafa Mahmoud Square, where he rode a camel for a short distance to have his picture taken.
Saleh said that on the way back to Nazlit al-Siman, nine people on horseback and three on camels lost their way and found themselves in Tahrir Square.
The fifth witness, Soheir Mansour Mohamed, testified on behalf of defendant and former Shura Council member Sherif Waly, whom she claimed asked pro-Mubarak protesters in Mostafa Mahmoud Square not to head to Tahrir. Mohamed said she was surprised to see camels and horses at the Mostafa Mahmoud rally. She had been bailed out by Waly in 2000 when detained for participating in a pro-Palestinian protest, she said, but did not clarify why the former MP supported her before she knew him.
Before the recess, the lawyer for defendant and former MP Mortada Mansour - who was not present at the trial today - requested that the presiding judge be removed. The judge refused on the basis that Mansour was not present to make the request himself, and the defendants in the dock expressed their support for the judge.
Yesterday's hearing, the fifth, heard conflicting accounts of former People's Assembly Speaker Fathi Sorour's involvement in the attack.