• 11:38
  • Monday ,21 March 2016
العربية

Retrial of 37 ‘Rabaa task force’ defendants suspended

By-egyptindependent

Copts and Poliltical Islam

00:03

Monday ,21 March 2016

Retrial of 37 ‘Rabaa task force’ defendants suspended

Giza Criminal Court suspended on Sunday the retrial of Muslim Brotherhood party members.Giza Criminal Court suspended on Sunday the retrial of Muslim Brotherhood party members.

Supreme Guide Mohamed Badei, along with 36 other members of the party, were due to be trialed over a case publicly known as the "Rabaa task force". Charges include the kidnapping of state officials and plotting to burn state facilities and churches.
 
The case was suspended after the defense submitted a request to replace the judge presiding over the trial. The court have called for a pause in proceedings while the request is considered. 
 
The defense called on Court President Moataz Khafagy to step down, citing enmity between Khafagy and the suspects as the reason for the request.
 
The court panel banned media channels and reporters from attending the court session.
 
In December, the Court of Cassation, headed by Judge Adel al-Shourbagy, canceled the rulings issued by the criminal court against the defendants in this case. Some defendants were sentenced to death and others given life, or shorter, sentences.
 
The court ordered the retrial of 37 out of 51 defendants included in the case.
 
In April, Giza Criminal Court sentenced 14 Brotherhood members to death after documents pertaining to the case had been ratified by the mufti. Others were sentenced to life in prison.
 
The case dates back to a sit-in held by the group in the vicinity of Rabaa al-Adaweya mosque in July 2013 in protest against the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsy
 
The prosecution accused the suspects of having formed a task force who ordered members to confront security services during dispersal of the sit-in, intending to cause chaos.