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During a chaotic session of the trial of 24 figures accused of plotting an attack on protesters during the 18-day uprising last year, defendants Saturday broke out in scuffles and said that the court was not acting impartial.
The court was forced to adjourn more than once due to noise in the courtroom, with yells of "leave, leave," breaking out directed at Mortada Mansour's defense team. Mansour was not in attendance; he sent a signed statement saying that the Ministry of Justice had allowed for his absence.
Ragia Atiya, Mansour's lawyer, said the court had not proved the validity of much of its evidence, and asked for the judges to removed. Other defendants, held in the cage in the court, said that Mansour was "playing with them and dragging his feet," to ensure the trial ends in his favor.
South Cairo Criminal Court, which is considering the case known as “Battle of the Camel,” decided in April to summon Mansour, a defendant in the case, in addition to his son, Ahmed, and his nephew, Wahid Salah Gomaa.
Twenty-four defendants are accused in the case, including Ahmed Fathi Sorour, former speaker of the People’s Assembly, Safwat al-Sherif, former speaker of the Shura Council, Aisha Abdel Hady, former minister of manpower, and Hussein Megawer, former president of the Trade Union Federation.
All are facing charges of inciting the killing of peaceful protesters in Tahrir Square on 2 and 3 February 2011 during the demonstrations that forced former President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
Mortada Mansour's lawyer also accused the court of partiality, saying "the bench is so far from being impartial we are demanding that they be removed."
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm