- Middle East/North Africa
Cairo Criminal Court acquitted Thursday police officers Ahmed Mostafa al-Shazly and Khaled Abu Raid of killing five protesters and injuring seven others last year.
The officers were found not guilty of shooting revolution protesters outside the Darb al-Ahmar police station on 28 January 2011.
The defense lawyer argued the charges were false and based on malicious motives. Their attorney claimed criminals in the district made up the allegations out of hostility toward Shazly after his 11 years on the police force. He suggested that the protesters may have been killed by unknown gunmen who infiltrated the demonstrations.
The mother of Ahmed Khalifa, one of the protesters shot dead, burst in to tears when the verdict was announced.
"I was sure they would acquit the defendants. We will see what President [Mohamed] Morsy will do with them," she said.
According to the defense, Shazly was stationed at the Cairo Security Department on the day of the killings and Abu Raid was securing Al-Azhar Mosque during Friday prayers that day. Brigadier General Ahmed Helmy, Captain Mohamed Fawzy and Captain Ahmed Kilany all provided testimony corroborating Shazly’s alibi.
The lawyer also said the killed and injured protesters had been violent and tried to burn down the police station.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm