Court postpones verdict in former prosecutor assassination case

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The Cairo Criminal Court has postponed issuing its verdict for 67 defendants in the assassination of former prosecutor-general Hisham Barakat, state-media reported.

The court was scheduled to issue a ruling on Saturday but postponed its decision to  June 17th.

Barakat was assassinated June 2015 in an attack on his motorcade.

The trial began last June, after defendants were referred to court on accusations of joining an outlawed group—the armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood—and conspiring with Hamas to conduct attacks inside Egypt.

According to state-owned news website Al-Ahram in April 2017, the defendants planned the assassination of Barakat with the help of an intelligence officer from Hamas. The plot was revenge for Barakat’s order for the dispersal of pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda squares after the ouster of their former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Other accusations included the possession of weapons and explosive materials and receiving military training by the Ezz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades.

In early 2016, Al-Ahram published High State Security Prosecution statements upholding the above-mentioneed scenario reportedly based on confessions of suspects.

Other suspicious events occurred during the trial, such as Minister of Interior, Magdy Abdel Ghaffar’s, decision to refer to the investigations officers in charge of securing the session, after court  on 18 April 2017. This was because during the session, the engagement of one of the defendants was celebrated as his fiancée brought rings amid celebration by family members.

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