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Middle East
Former Mubarak minister's trial postponed
Case against Mubarak's former interior minister adjourned amid courtroom chaos as lawyers scuffle with police.
Last Modified: 21 May 2011 19:44
An demonstrator waves a shoe at a police van taking Habib Al-Adly to court [EPA]

The trial of Egypt's former interior minister, Habib al-Adly, and six other officials over the deaths of people during the country’s uprising has been postponed after scuffles broke out at the court.

Saturday’s hearing, in a courthouse on the outskirts of Cairo, lasted only "three or four minutes", according to a lawyer who was present. The next hearing is scheduled for June 26.

A witness told Reuters police lined up in front of the defendants' cage to block the seven officials from view, provoking an outcry from human rights lawyers, who then clashed with army and police officers guarding the courtroom.

Families of the victims were heard shouting "Butcher! Butcher!" at the defendants.

Al-Adly, one of the most hated members of the administration of deposed president Hosni Mubarak, and the other defendants are accused of killing anti-government protesters.

As Mubarak's interior minister for 13 years, al-Adly presided over the 500,000-strong security forces blamed for human rights violations.

Adly is one of the most senior Mubarak-era ministers to go on trial. He was sentenced earlier this month to 12 years in prison on separate charges of profiteering and money laundering.

Several police stations were torched during the uprising which erupted on January 25, partly because Egyptians were frustrated with a security apparatus that many said was corrupt and acted as if it was above the law.

More than 800 people died and thousands were injured in the uprising that lasted for less than a month.

Other cases that involved former prime minister Ahmed Nazif, former finance minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali and former trade minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid, as well as Adly, were also adjourned, to June 25.

In another case, a criminal court decided on Saturday to refer a profiteering case involving former tourism minister Zoheir Garranah back to the court of appeal.

Source:
Agencies
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