Three former judges sent to jail over High Court break-in

Sharabiya Misdemeanor Court on Monday sentenced three former judges to 26 months in prison for attempting to break into the High Court in downtown Cairo as part of public uproar over former President Hosni Mubarak’s prison sentence.

Prosecutors had referred the three judges to trial following protests outside the High Court over the ruling against Mubarak issued on 2 June by Cairo Criminal Court. The court had sentenced the ousted leader to life in prison for involvement in the killing of protesters during the 25 January uprising, which forced him to step down.

The defendants denied all the charges included in the referral. Their lawyer cited contradictions in witnesses’ accounts, material and verbal evidence, and deficiencies in investigations conducted by prosecution services.

The lawyer argued that investigations had shown that his clients were not present at the scene of the attack.

However, Ahmed Rashad, North Cairo Prosecution chief, said witnesses confirmed that the three judges were present during the attack. He said that, concerning contradicting witness accounts, the court is entitled to decide on its own perception of the truth.

Rashad said the three judges had been charged of thuggery, preventing employees from doing their work, and smashing the glass at the High Court. He denied that prosecutors had been hasty in referring the case to the court.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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