Camel Battle defendants address the court, assert their innocence

Fathi Sorour, former speaker of the People's Assembly, who is being tried for killing demonstrators on 2 February 2011, during what is known as the “Battle of the Camel,” addressed the court for the first time on Monday. He claimed that there is a conspiracy against him.

Giza Criminal Court in northern Cairo resumed the trial of the twenty-five defendants in the case on Monday. The court decided to adjourn the case until Wednesday.

Sorour identified himself to the court as the fourth defendant in the case, adding that "there is a conspiracy on Egypt to destroy the honorable men of the country. I am not an icon of the former regime, but I am a figure of the Egyptian judiciary.

"How am I charged in a terrorism case I have nothing to do with? They want to destroy my long history and experience with the law by bringing charges against me," he said.

"Where are the unknown people who said that I was involved? The investigating judge has rigged the date of my appeal not to release me. I have been remanded for more than a year, and I yearn for justice," Sorour added.

Safwat al-Sherif, former Shura Council speaker, is also a defendant in the case. He said that he trusts the court to act justly. "I was questioned only for 45 minutes while the judge used words like ‘they said’ and ‘we heard,’" he added.

"Harming the judiciary and justice system should not be allowed, and those who cheer against me and smear me should be silenced," Sherif added.

Another defendant in the case is former Minister of Manpower and Immigration Aisha Abdel Hady. She swore to the court saying her heart is on fire for Egypt and that her having been accused in this case is a test from God.

Former National Democratic Party member and ceramic industry figure Mohamed Abul Enein, another defendant in the case, said he trusts the court will find the true killer and whoever wants to destroy the nation.

The Battle of the Camel took place at the height of the protests that led to the fall of former President Mubarak. Mubarak supporters stormed Tahrir Square on a camel and horses, killing 11 protesters and injuring more than 2,000.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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