Gas deal court case postponed to 10 September

The trial of those suspected of involvement in selling natural gas to Israel at lower than market prices has been delayed until 10 September.

The court postponed the case until the contract for the deal is translated into Arabic and the defense receives a full transcript of the questioning of Hosni Mubarak.

Former Minister of Petroleum Sameh Fahmy, business tycoon Hussein Salem and five petroleum ministry officials are implicated in the case.

The Cairo Criminal Court had allowed media professionals, with cameras, to attend the trial, the first time cameras were allowed into a courthouse since the Supreme Judicial Council banned recording trial proceedings in October 2010.

Beshir Abdel Aaal, the head of the court, said he implemented the principle of public trials although he had not received notification to lift the ban. He was responsible for the move, he said.

In response to protestors' demands, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf called on the Supreme Judicial Council to transfer former officials' court hearings to larger capacity venues with, allow broadcasters to attend, and place screens outside courtrooms.

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